Art: Bartolommeo Montagna

LEAFING through the British magazine Country Life one quiet afternoon, a priest of London's Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral was struck by a group of photographs. They showed four panels by Bartolommeo Montagna, a minor master of the late 15th century Venetian school. Two of the panels, representing the Angel and the Virgin of the Annunciation, eventually passed into the collection of New College, Oxford. The other two were known only from watercolor copies; the originals had vanished.

The pictures seemed somehow familiar to the priest. He hurried back to the cathedral and dragged...

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