Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saint Paul with Paolo Pagagnotti; Christ Appearing to His Mother

Master of the Saint Ursula Legend (Netherlandish, active late 15th century)
late 1480s
Oil on wood
(a) overall 37 3/8 x 11 3/8 in. (94.9 x 28.9 cm), painted surface 36 3/4 x 10 7/8 in. (93.4 x 27.6 cm); (b) overall 37 1/4 x 11 1/4 in. (94.6 x 28.6 cm), painted surface 36 3/4 x 10 3/4 in. (93.4 x 27.3 cm)
Credit Line:
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 640
A contemporary of Memling, the Master of the Legend of Saint Ursula seems to have headed an active workshop in Bruges. These paintings originally flanked a Virgin and Child in a folding triptych commissioned by the Florentine merchant Paolo Pagagnotti. In the left panel, the donor is portrayed with his patron saint, Paul, whose beheading is shown through an open arch in a city square. In the right panel, Mary and Mary Magdalen are seen in the distance, approaching the still-sealed tomb of Christ, while the foreground scene depicts a moment after the Resurrection, when Christ appears to his mother.
?Paolo Pagagnotti, Florence (probably from the late 1480s); Marchese Gioacchino Ferroni, Florence (until about 1923); [Kleinberger, Paris and New York, by 1923–24; sold for $7500 to Friedsam]; Michael Friedsam, New York (1924–31)
Lexington, Va. Washington and Lee University. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art Loan Exhibit," October 30, 1950–January 15, 1951, no. 8 (right wing only).

Athens, Ga. Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. February 15–April 5, 1951, no catalogue? (right wing only).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 22, 1998–February 21, 1999, no. 14.

Florence. Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina. "Firenze e gli antichi Paesi Bassi 1430–1530, dialoghi tra artisti: da Jan van Eyck a Ghirlandaio, da Memling a Raffaello . . .," June 20–October 26, 2008, no. 28.

Rome. Scuderie del Quirinale. "Memling: Rinascimento fiammingo," October 11, 2014–January 18, 2015, no. 33.

Max J. Friedländer. Letter to Herr Loebl [at Kleinberger & Co.]. December 11, 1923, ascribes these altarwings to the Master of the Saint Ursula Legend, about 1480; notes that a panel apparently from Rogier's hand with the same composition as our right wing, and nearly life-size figures, is probably still with Duveen [now National Gallery, Washington].

Max J. Friedländer. Die altniederländische Malerei. Vol. 6, Memling und Gerard David. Berlin, 1928, p. 137, no. 117, pl. 52.

Max J. Friedländer in The Michael Friedsam Collection. [completed 1928], p. 142, as from the Marchese Ferroni collection, Florence; notes that the composition of the right wing can be traced back to Rogier.

Bryson Burroughs and Harry B. Wehle. "The Michael Friedsam Collection: Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27, section 2 (November 1932), pp. 20, 22.

Martin Davies. National Gallery Catalogues: Early Netherlandish School. London, 1945, pp. 115–16 n. 2, notes that its design is similar to that of the "Christ Appearing to the Virgin" by a follower of Rogier in the National Gallery, London.

Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 76–77, ill., suppose that the name of the donor figure was Paul as he is shown here under the protection of Saint Paul the Apostle.

Ernest Lotthé. La pensée chrétienne dans la peinture flamande et hollandaise. Lille, 1947, vol. 2, pp. 271, 345, no. 649.

Erwin Panofsky. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character. Cambridge, Mass., 1953, p. 463 n. 4 (to p. 263), mentions the right wing as an example of copies and variations of Rogier's composition of Christ Appearing to His Mother in the Granada-Miraflores altarpieces (including panel in MMA, 22.60.58).

Pierre Bautier. "Le maître brugeois de la légende de sainte Ursule." Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts Bulletin 5 (March 1956), p. 4, no. 4.

Erik Larsen. Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York. Utrecht, 1960, pp. 76, 120–21, attributes them to an anonymous Bruges painter from the end of the 15th century; finds the right wing superior in quality and doubts that the two panels were the work of the same hand.

Colin Eisler. "Erik Larsen, Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York, 1960." Art Bulletin 46 (March 1964), p. 100, rejects Larsen's excision of these paintings from the oeuvre of the Master of Saint Ursula, noting that the artist "often worked hastily and many of his depictions of donors seem to have been added after the general composition was completed".

Georges Marlier. "Le Maître de la Légende de sainte Ursule." Jaarboek / Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (1964), p. 37, no. 28, lists it with works whose attributions are open to discussion.

Max J. Friedländer et al. Early Netherlandish Painting. Vol. 6, Hans Memlinc and Gerard David. New York, 1971, p. 60, no. 117, pl. 141.

Martin Davies. Rogier van der Weyden: An Essay, with a Critical Catalogue of Paintings Assigned to Him and to Robert Campin. London, 1972, p. 215.

Elisabeth Heller. Das altniederländische Stifterbild. PhD diss., Universität München. Munich, 1976, p. 211, no. 231.

Lorne Campbell. Unpublished notes. 1981, notes that Paul was not a common name in the Netherlands and suggests the donor was a member of the Italian community at Bruges; judging from the style of his dress, suggests a date of about 1485.

Rainald Grosshans. "Rogier van der Weyden: Der Marienaltar aus der Kartause Miraflores." Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen 23 (1981), p. 77 n. 126.

John Oliver Hand in John Oliver Hand and Martha Wolff. Early Netherlandish Painting. Washington, 1986, p. 254.

Molly Faries, Barbara Heller, and Daniel Levine. "The Recently Discovered Underdrawings of the Master of the Saint Ursula Legend's 'Triptych of the Nativity'." Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 62, no. 4 (1987), p. 19 n. 21.

Daniel Michael Levine. "The Bruges Master of the St. Ursula Legend Re-considered." PhD diss., Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1989, pp. 21, 47, 53, 72, 108–12, 118 n. 70, pp. 141, 166–71, 184, no. 5, dates our panels about 1470–75; notes that De Vos [see Ref. 1986] has suggested that these panels belonged with the panel at Cherbourg.

Michael Rohlmann. Auftragskunst und Sammlerbild: Altniederländische Tafelmalerei im Florenz des Quattrocento. PhD diss., Universität Köln. Alfter, Germany, 1994, p. 70, reconstructs an altarpiece with the Virgin and Child Enthroned in the Cherbourg Museum as the central panel, our panels as the interior wings, and two grisaille panels in the Museo Bandini, Fiesole, as the exterior wings; observes that not only do the wings have a Florentine provenance, but the coat of arms in the central panel are also Florentine, and identical with those in a Memling panel with the Virgin and Child Enthroned in the Uffizi, Florence.

Michael Rohlmann. "Memling's 'Pagagnotti Triptych'." Burlington Magazine 137 (July 1995), pp. 439–41, ill. (reconstruction view of interior [including our panels] and exterior of triptych), identifies the coats of arms in the Cherbourg panel and in Memling's Virgin and Child in the Uffizi as those of the Pagagnotti family of Florence and notes that Paolo Pagagnotti, "one of many widely-traveled Florentine merchants of the period" was clearly the patron of the triptych to which our interior wings belong; concludes that the Memling triptych was commissioned by his relative Benedetto Pagagnotti.

Mary Sprinson de Jesús in From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Maryan W. Ainsworth and Keith Christiansen. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. 44, 69, 74, 122–24, 178, no. 14, ill. (color), places it in the late 1480s and identifies the panels as Saint Paul with Paolo Pagagnotti and Christ Appearing to His Mother.

Larry Silver. "Old-Time Religion: Bernart van Orley and the Devotional Tradition." Pantheon 56 (1998), p. 84 n. 36.

Dirk De Vos. Rogier van der Weyden: The Complete Works. New York, 1999, p. 232.

Michael Rohlmann. "Flanders and Italy, Flanders and Florence. Early Netherlandish Painting in Italy and its Particular Influence on Florentine Art: An Overview." Italy and the Low Countries—Artistic Relations: The Fifteenth Century. Florence, 1999, pp. 46–47.

Paula Nuttall. From Flanders to Florence: The Impact of Netherlandish Painting, 1400–1500. New Haven, 2004, pp. 75, 273 n. 80.

Bert W. Meijer et al. in Firenze e gli antichi Paesi Bassi 1430–1530, dialoghi tra artisti: da Jan van Eyck a Ghirlandaio, da Memling a Raffaello . . . Ed. Bert W. Meijer. Exh. cat., Palazzo Pitti, Galleria Palatina, Florence. Livorno, 2008, pp. 18, 25, 142, 150–53, no. 28, ill. (color).

Federica Veratelli in Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome. Memling: Rinascimento fiammingo. Ed. Till-Holger Borchert. Exh. cat.Milan, 2014, p. 63.

Till-Holger Borchert in Memling: Rinascimento fiammingo. Ed. Till-Holger Borchert. Exh. cat., Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome. Milan, 2014, p. 180, no. 33 (with central and exterior panels), ill. pp. 182–83 (color).

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