Master of the Magdalen (Italian, Florence, active 1265–95)
Tempera on wood, gold ground
60 1/2 x 36 in. (153.7 x 91.4 cm)
Gift of George Blumenthal, 1941
Not on view
Inscription: Inscribed (on each side of Madonna's halo, in Greek): Mother of God
?[Publio Podio, Bologna; sold through Karl Mull to Miethke]; [H. O. Miethke, Vienna, in 1909, as Italian, about 1300]; [art dealer, Florence, in 1927]; George Blumenthal, New York (until 1941)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces in the Collection of George Blumenthal," 1943, no. 18 (as "by an unknown Tuscan painter, second half of the XIII century").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Florentine Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," June 15–August 15, 1971, no catalogue.
Wilhelm Suida. "Zur Dugentomalerei." Monatshefte für Kunstwissenschaft 2 (1909), p. 65, fig. 2, as in the Miethke collection, Vienna; considers it a work painted outside Tuscany, perhaps in the Marches or Bologna, and dates it about 1300.
Osvald Sirén. "The Earliest Pictures in the Jarves Collection at Yale University." Art in America 3 (October 1915), p. 283, attributes it to a master in the workshop of Margaritone d'Arezzo, and assigns to the same painter a panel in the Jarves collection of Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, and another representing St. Mary Magdalen in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence
Raimond van Marle. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. Vol. 1, From the 6th Until the End of the 13th Century. The Hague, 1923, p. 304, mentions it among Tuscan panels of a similar type; dates it about 1300.
Edward B. Garrison. Italian Romanesque Panel Painting. Florence, 1949, p. 82, no. 193, ill., attributes it to the Florentine school and dates it 1285–90; states that it was on the art market in Florence in 1927.
Will Barnet. "Painting without Illusion." The League Quarterly 22 (Spring 1950), pp. 8–9, ill.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Florentine School. New York, 1971, pp. 9–10, ill., attribute it to an unknown Florentine painter of the late thirteenth century, and date it about 1290; note the influence of Coppo di Marcovaldo and Cimabue.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 217, 311, 608.
Luiz C. Marques. La peinture du Duecento en Italie centrale. Paris, 1987, pp. 136, 138, fig. 164, attributes it to the workshop of the Master of the Magdalen, and dates it about 1280.
George Bisacca and Laurence B. Kanter inItalian Renaissance Frames. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1990, pp. 13–14, figs. 3, 4 (drawing of the profile of the engaged frame), detail the construction and decoration of the frame.
Angelo Tartuferi. La pittura a Firenze nel Duecento. Florence, 1990, p. 93, attributes it to the Master of the Magdalen, and reports that Luciano Bellosi makes the same attribution in a handwritten note on a photo of the painting in the photo library of the Istituto Germanico di Storia dell'Arte in Florence.
The Master of the Magdalen is the name given by Osvald Sirén to the painter of a panel in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence representing Saint Mary Magdalen and eight episodes of her life, and of a group of Florentine paintings of the second half of the thirteenth century related to this picture [see Sirén, "Toskanische Maler im XIII. Jahrhundert," Berlin, 1922, pp. 264–75].