Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Virgin and Child with the Pietà and Saints

Spanish (Castilian) Painter (late 15th century)
Tempera and gold on wood
(a) 49 1/4 x 24 1/4 in. (125.1 x 61.5 cm); (b) 49 x 24 3/4 in. (124.5 x 62.9 cm); (c) 57 x 29 in. (144.8 x 73.7 cm); (d) 49 x 24 3/4 in. (124.5 x 62.9 cm); (e) 49 x 24 1/2 in. (124.5 x 62.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of George Blumenthal, 1941
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
Juan Lafora, Madrid; [Jacques Seligmann, New York, until 1917; sold to Blumenthal]; George and Florence Blumenthal, New York (1917–his d. 1941; cat., vol. 1, 1926, unpaginated, as attributed to Fernando Gallegos [sic])
Jacques Seligmann. Letter to Mrs. George Blumenthal. January 30, 1917, describes this picture as Spanish, from the beginning of the 16th century, and attributed to Ferdinand Gallegos of Salamanca (1461–1550) [?sic for Fernando Gallego, 1443–1507], the pupil of Berruquete [sic for Pedro Berruguete].

Stella Rubinstein-Bloch. Catalogue of the Collection of George and Florence Blumenthal. Vol. 1, Paintings—Early Schools. Paris, 1926, unpaginated, before pl. 53, as attributed to Fernando Gallegos [sic]; remarks that "the style of the whole picture is obviously inspired by the Flemish masters," particularly Dieric Bouts.

Chandler Rathfon Post. A History of Spanish Painting. Vol. 4, The Hispano-Flemish Style in Northwestern Spain. Cambridge, Mass., 1933, part 2, p. 462, fig. 176, attributes it to the author of the Saints Mark and Catherine retable in the Cathedral of Sigüenza (Antonio Contreras?), or at least to his circle; asserts that the artist responsible for our panels surely painted the panel of Saints Paul and Andrew in the Museum of Bilbao.

Chandler Rathfon Post. A History of Spanish Painting. Vol. 9, The Beginning of the Renaissance in Castile and Leon. Cambridge, Mass., 1947, part 2, pp. 562–63, reattributes it to the Astorga Master.

Judith Berg Sobré. Behind the Altar Table: The Development of the Painted Retable in Spain, 1350–1500. Columbia, Mo., 1989, pp. 150–51, 199–200, fig. 97, as "Retable of the Lamentation and Saints" from very late in the 15th century; describes it as a Castilian retable of the "raised-center type" and notes that it "belies the contention that retables with sculpted centers lacked a painted scene above the center"; emphasizes the didactic nature of this altarpiece, with single images of saints replacing narratives.

This altarpiece includes a central sculpted image of the Virgin with a painted panel of the Pietà above, and Saints Michael (upper left), Andrew (upper right), Peter (lower left), and John the Baptist (lower right). The sculpture is not original and the banco (base) and guardapolvos (dust guard) are missing.
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