Author(s): Carl Brandon Strehlke
When the Philadelphia lawyer John G. Johnson began to collect art in the late nineteenth century, he defied contemporary taste by acquiring Italian paintings from the early Renaissance. He eventually donated his distinguished collection to the City of Philadelphia, and it is now housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Although there have been several catalogues of these paintings, including one by Bernhard Berenson in 1913, Carl Brandon Strehlke, Adjunct Curator of the Johnson Collection, has prepared the first complete scholarly examination. His discussion of such art historical questions as dating and attribution combines extensive archival research with information he gained through his technical study of the paintings with Mark S. Tucker, the Museum's Vice Chairman of Conservation and Senior Conservator of Paintings. Strehlke's introduction sheds new light on Johnson's collecting and traces the history of the acquisition, conservation, and installation of the Philadelphia paintings. Subsequent chapters situate detailed discussions of the pictures within the context of richly detailed biographies. All the paintings are furnished with a full description; technical report; provenance; art historical commentary; discussion of related works; comparative illustrations; and bibliography. This extensively illustrated book also provides an appendix of punch marks and a bibliography of some 2,500 entries. Carl Brandon Strehlke is Adjunct Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.