This beautifully preserved little panel dates from late in Cima's career, probably from about 1510, and shows the master faithfully continuing a style originated by Giovanni Bellini in the 1480s. Indeed, Bellini's signature was added later, falsely, at the bottom.
Inscription: Inscribed (bottom): IOANNES BELLINVS FACIEBAT.
Samuel Rogers, London (until d. 1855; his estate sale, Christie's, London, April 28–May 10, 1856, no. 595, as by Cima, for £38.17.0 to Anderdon); James H. Anderdon, London (1856–d. 1879; his estate sale, Christie's, London, May 30–31, 1879, no. 29, as "The Madonna and Child, attended by a monk and nun," by J. Bellini, for £46.14.6); Étienne Martin, baron de Beurnonville, Paris (until 1881; his sale, Pillet, Paris, May 9–16, 1881, no. 608, as "La Vierge, l'Enfant Jésus, saint François et sainte Catherine," by Giovanni Bellini, for Fr 1,900); Oscar Hainauer, Berlin (by 1883–d. 1894; cat., 1897, no. 61, as by Cima); his widow, Frau Julie Hainauer, Berlin (1894–1906; sold to Duveen); [Duveen, London and New York, from 1906]; [Alexandre Imbert, Rome, until 1912; sold for 19,000 lire through F. Mason Perkins to Blumenthal]; George Blumenthal, New York (1912–d. 1941; cat., vol. 1, 1926, pl. XLI)
Manchester. Art Treasures Palace. "Art Treasures of the United Kingdom," May 5–October 17, 1857, no. 114 (as "The Virgin and Child between St. Francis and a Monastic Female Saint," by Giovanni Bellini, lent by J. H. Anderdon).
Berlin. Königliche Akademie der Künste. "Ausstellung von Gemälden älterer Meister im Berliner Privatbesitz," January 25–March 12, 1883, no. 11 (of works in the Renaissance-Kabinet, as by Cima).
Berlin. Kunstgeschichtliche Gesellschaft. "Ausstellung von Kunstwerken des Mittelalters und der Renaissance aus Berliner Privatbesitz," May 20–June 25, 1898, no. 27 (as by Cima da Conegliano, lent by Frau Julie Hainauer).
New York. M. Knoedler & Co. "Venetian Paintings of the 15th & 16th Centuries," April 11–30, 1938, no. 6 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. George Blumenthal).
San Francisco. California Palace of the Legion of Honor. "Venetian Painting," June 25–July 24, 1938, no. 21 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. George Blumenthal, New York).
Minneapolis. University Gallery, University of Minnesota. "Renaissance and Baroque Painting," June 25–July 26, 1952, no catalogue?
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Venetian Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," May 1–September 2, 1974, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art in Renaissance Venice, 1400–1515: Paintings and Drawings from the Museum's Collections," November 8, 2011–February 5, 2012, no catalogue.
W. Burger [Théophile Thoré]. Trésors d'art exposés à Manchester en 1857. Paris, 1857, p. 74 [reprinted as "Trésors d'art en Angleterre," Brussels, 1860, with same pagination], questions the attribution to Bellini.
George Scharf. Sketchbook. Vol. 55, , p. 146 [National Portrait Gallery, London; see letter of January 29, 2002 in archive file], under a sketch of another version of this composition that he saw in the Baring collection in 1859, compares that picture to no. 595 of the Rogers sale of 1856 (the MMA work).
J[oseph]. A[rcher]. Crowe and G[iovanni]. B[attista]. Cavalcaselle. A History of Painting in North Italy: Venice, Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Ferrara, Milan, Friuli, Brescia, from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century. London, 1871, vol. 1, p. 246, attribute it to Cima; as in the Anderdon collection.
Ulrich Thieme inDie Sammlung Oscar Hainauer. Ed. Wilhelm Bode. Berlin, 1897, p. 70, no. 61, as "Madonna mit dem Kinde und den Heiligen Franciscus und Katharina," by Cima.
J[oseph]. A[rcher]. Crowe and G[iovanni]. B[attista]. Cavalcaselle. A History of Painting in North Italy: Venice, Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Ferrara, Milan, Friuli, Brescia, from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century. Ed. Tancred Borenius. 2nd ed. [1st ed. 1871]. London, 1912, vol. 1, p. 251.
Bernard Berenson. Venetian Painting in America: The Fifteenth Century. New York, 1916, pp. 204, 209, attributes it to Cima and dates it after 1510; implies that the inscription is no longer visible [see Notes]; identifies the female saint as Clare; relates it to similar compositions now in the Art Institute of Chicago and the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Stella Rubinstein-Bloch. Catalogue of the Collection of George and Florence Blumenthal. Vol. 1, Paintings—Early Schools. Paris, 1926, unpaginated, pl. XLI.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 147, lists it as a late work.
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 127.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Venetian School. London, 1957, vol. 1, p. 66, erroneously describes it as signed.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 53, 333, 389, 397, 608.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Venetian School. New York, 1973, pp. 20–21, pl. 19, date it about 1510; note that this format was first used in Venice by Giovanni Bellini, and that Cima repeated this group with some variations in a number of works, including examples in the Morgan Library, New York, and the Accademia, Venice.
Jill Dunkerton. "Cima: With Special Reference to His Technique." Master's thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 1976, n. 85 [see Ref. Humfrey 1983].
Peter Humfrey. Cima da Conegliano. Cambridge, 1983, pp. 51, 93, 132, 183, no. 105, pl. 183, dates it about 1513–17; provides early provenance information.
Elizabeth A. Pergam. "From Manchester to Manhattan: The Transatlantic Art Trade After 1857." Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 87, no. 2 (2005), pp. 85, 89.
Fausto Nicolai. "More than an Expatriate Scholar: Frederick Mason Perkins as Art Adviser, Agent and Intermediary for American Collectors of the Twentieth Century." Journal of the History of Collections (Advance Access published November 16, 2015), pp. 4–5, 12 nn. 24–25, fig. 4 (color) [doi:10.1093/jhc/fhv034], cites letters in the Frederick Mason Perkins Archive, Assisi, which detail Perkins's role as agent for Blumenthal's purchase of this picture from Imbert for 19,000 lire, noting that the receipt for purchase is in Perkins's name and is dated January 12, 1912, and that Imbert's acknowledgment of payment for this picture and Francesco di Giorgio Martini's "Nativity" (41.100.2) is dated February 23, 1912.
When the picture came to the Museum, the false signature across the bottom had been painted out. This must have been done sometime between 1897, when Thieme records the signature on the work, and 1916, when Berenson mentions it as having formerly appeared on the painting. Cleaning at the Museum has again made this inscription visible.
Artist: Cima da Conegliano (Giovanni Battista Cima) (Italian, Conegliano ca. 1459–1517/18 Venice or Conegliano)Date: ca. 1513Medium: Oil on canvas, transferred from woodAccession: 07.149On view in:Gallery 606