Saint Christopher and
the Christ Child
active 1502–circa 1560
Oil on panel, 13 ½ x 18 ¼ in. (34.29 x 46.36 cm), Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Maddow, 59.48.
[Zacharie Birtschansky, Paris (in 1939, as Dutch follower of Hieronymus Bosch, Saint Christopher)].1 Philip Yordan,2 Beverly Hills (until circa 1959), gift circa 1959;3 to Ben Maddow [1909–1992], Los Angeles (in 1959), gift 1959; to LACMA.
Gustav Gluck, "Peter Bruegel the Elder and the Legend of St. Christopher in Early Flemish Painting," Art Quarterly 13 (winter 1950), pp. 38, 47, fig. 6, noted that he saw the painting in Paris in the collection of Z. Birtschansky in 1939. This painting may have been among those Birtschansky shipped to the U.S. in 1939 (see entry for AngelicaKauffmann).
Philip Yordan was a lawyer turned screenwriter in the 1950s. Yordan also owned LACMA’s Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness byMoretto da Brescia, which he bought after the war from the Beverly Hills dealer Jacob M. Heimann. Heimann may also have been involved in the sale of this painting, which he may have been storing for Birtschansky (see Kauffmann entry).
- Ben Maddow was a well-known screenwriter who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He was among several writers who were able to continue working by writing under the name of Philip Yordan, with whom they shared the profits. Mrs. Maddow (orally, Aug. 2000) remembers that Yordan gave her husband the painting shortly before they gave it to the museum in 1959. In his later career, Ben Maddow became a well-respected writer on photography, particularly the photography of Edward Weston.
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