Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Diana the Huntress

Giampietrino (Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli) (Italian, Milanese, active by ca. 1495–died 1553)
Oil on wood
44 7/8 x 23 1/4 in. (114 x 59.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Richardson Gift, 1989
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 608
Giampietrino was among the most faithful Milanese pupils of Leonardo da Vinci. This picture, which shows the goddess of the hunt drawing an arrow, is inspired by one of a famous set of engravings designed by the Florentine Rosso Fiorentino (1494–1540) and dated 1526. It may be that it once hung alongside three other full-length standing images of goddesses.
Gustave Mailand, Paris (until 1881; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 2–3, 1881, no. 119, as by Andrea Solario, for Fr 4,100 to Monsieur Chaudron de Courcelles); sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, November 20, 1987, no. 16, as by Giampietrino, for $248,483 to Corsini; [Piero Corsini, New York, 1987–89; sold to MMA]
David Alan Brown. Andrea Solario. Milan, 1987, p. 260 n. 40, judging from the reproduction in the 1881 sale catalogue and from a photograph, believes it is probably by Giampietrino rather than Solario.

Keith Christiansen in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1988–1989." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 47 (Fall 1989), p. 35, ill. (color), attributes it to Giampietrino and adds that so little is known of him that it is impossible to date the work; states that it derives from Leonardo's studies for his painting of Leda and the Swan (destroyed); notes the association of the subject with the French monarchy and the school of Fontainebleau and suggests that the picture was made for a French patron.

Pietro C. Marani. "Per il Giampietrino: nuove analisi nella Pinacoteca di Brera e un grande inedito." Raccolta Vinciana 23 (1989), p. 47 n. 14, having seen it during restoration, notes that it is apparently not in very good state and not certainly by Giampietrino.

Pietro C. Marani. Letter to Everett Fahy. June 5, 1990, having seen it after restoration, revises his earlier opinion [see Ref. 1989] and states that the upper part of the body, head, arms, and hands are definitely by Giampietrino, while suggesting that the rocks, stag, and flowers may have been completed later by a different hand; relates it to two drawings he attributes to Giampietrino: a figure, probably Lucretia, in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan, and a head of Leda in the Castello Sforzesco, Milan.

Elizabeth Llewellyn. Letter to Keith Christiansen. May 8, 1990, writes that a drawing sold at Sotheby's, London, on April 30, 1990 (no. 134, "Diana with a Stag," School of Fontainebleau), with the figure of Diana almost identical to that in the MMA painting, is itself based on a print by Gian Giacomo Caraglio after Rosso Fiorentino.

Everett Fahy. "Selected Acquisitions of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987–1991." Burlington Magazine 133 (November 1991), pp. 801–2, colorpl. II.

Cristina Geddo. "Le pale d'altare di Giampietrino: ipotesi per un percorso stilistico." Arte lombarda, n.s., 2 (1992), pp. 69, 76, 79 n. 22, pp. 80–81 n. 61, fig. 11, attributes it to Giampietrino and calls it a late work, stating that it derives from a print by Caraglio of 1526 [see Ref. Llewellyn 1990].

Franco Moro. "Divinità femminili del Giampietrino." Achademia Leonardi Vinci 6 (1993), pp. 90–91, 93–94, fig. 1, connects it with three other panels of standing female figures: Minerva (or Athena; private collection, Basel), Juno (Castello del Buonconsiglio, Trent), and Venus and Cupid (private collection, Milan); states that the four works form a series and were made for the same patron; suggests that the theme may have been love, with Diana representing the contrast of chastity; notes Giampietrino's reliance on the engraving by Caraglio for the MMA painting.

Andrea Bayer. "North of the Apennines: Sixteenth-Century Italian Painting in Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 60 (Spring 2003), pp. 19–21, fig. 14 (color), notes that Giampietrino has successfuly combined two disparate sources: Leonardo's Leda and Caraglio's print of Diana; believes it may have been made "for a French patron toward the end of Giampietrino's career"; questions Moro's [see Ref. 1993] theory that it formed a series with three other panels of standing female figures.

Furio Rinaldi. "Giampietrino: dagli esordi alla pala Fornari del 1521." Raccolta Vinciana 33 (2009), p. 261 n. 52, excludes the panel depicting Venus and Cupid (Milan, private collection) from the series of goddesses proposed by Moro [see Ref. 1993].

Victor Rafael Veronesi. Emails to Maryan Ainsworth and Andrea Bayer. January 26 and February 4, 2017, proposes several printed and painted sources from which Giampietrino borrowed elements for this painting.

The frame is from Florence and dates to about 1570 (see Additional Images, figs. 1–3). This bold Mannerist carved walnut molding is mounted to a poplar back frame. The sight edge pearl ornament lies within the ogee carved with straight rustications and corner acanthus leaves. A flat fillet with a quarter round at the top edge and vertical sides completes this strong design. An early overgilding masks what might have originally been a walnut surface with parcel gilding. The frame relates closely to a group in Santa Croce, designed by Vasari and to those in Palazzo Vecchio, designed by Danti and Buonsignori.

[Timothy Newbery with Cynthia Moyer 2017; further information on this frame can be found in the Department of European Paintings files]
This picture is based on an engraving of Diana by Giovanni Jacopo Caraglio of 1526 after a design by Rosso Fiorentino, from the series "Gods in Niches." A second inspiration is the two versions of Leda and the Swan (both lost) by Leonardo da Vinci.

A copy after this picture was sold at Sotheby's Arcade Auctions, London, July 16, 1992, no. 210, and later at the Hôtel Drouot, Paris, June 30, 1993, no. 106, as French school, nineteenth century.
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