Defendente Ferrari (Italian, Piedmontese, active 1510–31)
Oil on wood
48 1/2 x 19 1/2 in. (123.2 x 49.5 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1915
Not on view
Inscription: Inscribed (on book held by Saint John): INPR / I[N]CIPIO / ERAT / VER / BVM / ETVE / RBVM / ERAT (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was [with God] [John 1:1].)
[Dowdeswell & Dowdeswell, London, in 1904]; [Blakeslee Galleries, New York, until 1915; their sale, American Art Association, New York, April 21–23, 1915, no. 32, as by Butinone, to Burroughs for MMA]
Herbert Cook. "Some Notes on the Early Milanese Painters Butinone and Zenale, Part I." Burlington Magazine 4 (January 1904), p. 94, ill. p. 92, as at Dowdeswell; accepts the attribution to Butinone that he believes was first made by Roger Fry, rejecting earlier attributions to Macrino d'Alba and Defendente Ferrari; dates it about 1485; calls it "apparently the right shutter of a triptych".
W[oldemar]. v[on]. Seidlitz inAllgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker. Vol. 5, Leipzig, 1911, pp. 301–2, attributes it to Butinone and dates it shortly after 1485.
Adolfo Venturi. "La pittura del Quattrocento." Storia dell'arte italiana. Vol. 7, part 4, Milan, 1915, pp. 869–70, attributes it to Butinone.
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "Saint John and Saint Lawrence by Bernardino Jacopi of Treviglio, Called Butinone." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 10 (July 1915), pp. 152–54, ill.
Anna Maria Brizio. "Defendente Ferrari da Chivasso." L'arte 27 (1924), p. 246, lists it as by Defendente Ferrari; erroneously as still with Dowdeswell.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 188, lists it as by Defendente Ferrari.
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 162.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 157–58, ill., calls it a late work by Defendente.
Anna Maria Brizio. La pittura in Piemonte dall'età romanica al Cinquecento. Turin, 1942, p. 198.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools. London, 1968, vol. 1, p. 103.
Luigi Mallé. Spanzotti, Defendente, Giovenone: nuovi studi. Turin, 1971, p. 60, fig. 115, attributes it to Defendente, dates it 1525 or slightly earlier, and suggests that it is the pendant to a panel with two saints in the Medici del Vascello collection; erroneously states that the MMA work was formerly in the Cook collection.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 69, 365, 419, 422, 606.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, North Italian School. New York, 1986, pp. 17–18, pl. 58, accept the painting depicting Saints John the Baptist and Stephen (Medici del Vascello collection, La Mandria, Venaria, near Turin) [see Ref. Mallé 1971] as the left wing of the altarpiece for which this work was the right wing, noting that the central panel was probably a Madonna and Child and has not been identified; tentatively date it to the 1520s.
This painting is the right wing of an unidentified altarpiece; the left wing is a panel depicting Saints John the Baptist and Stephen in the Medici del Vascello collection, La Mandria, Venaria, near Turin.