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Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saint Anthony Abbot, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint Julian the Hospitaler, Saint Roch, and Saint Mary Magdalen?

Artist:
Perino del Vaga (Pietro Buonaccorsi) (Italian, Florence 1501–1547 Rome)
Date:
1522–23
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, highlighted with white gouache, on brownish paper
Dimensions:
8 3/4 x 7 3/8in. (22.2 x 18.7cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1908
Accession Number:
08.227.32
Not on view
When the plague struck Rome in 1522, Perino escaped to
Florence, where he reimmersed himself in the artistic
traditions of his native city, studying the works of Masaccio,
Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Fra Bartolommeo. This
drawing of the enthroned Virgin and Child surrounded by
a balanced and symmetrical arrangement of saints—a
compositional type known as a sacra conversazione, or
“sacred conversation”—is based closely on admired models
by Raphael and Fra Bartolommeo. No corresponding
painting by Perino is recorded, and it may be that the young
artist executed this careful study as an exercise rather than
in response to an actual commission. The inclusion of the
kneeling saints Sebastian and Roch, whose intercession was
invoked for protection against the plague, corroborates the
proposed dating of the drawing on stylistic grounds to
1522–23, when outbreaks of the plague occurred in Rome
and, shortly after, in Florence.
Marking: Jonathan Richardson, Sr. (Lugt 2184), verso numbers Lugt 2983-2984.
Jonathan Richardson Sr. (British, London 1667–1745 London); Vendor: Purchased in London through, Roger Eliot Fry (British, Highgate, Middlesex 1866–1934 London)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Perino del Vaga in New York Collections," September 27, 2011–February 5, 2012.

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1982, cat. no. 170, fig. no. 170, p. 177, ill.



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