Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Intercession of Christ and the Virgin

Artist:
Attributed to Lorenzo Monaco (Piero di Giovanni) (Italian, Florence (?) ca. 1370–1425 Florence (?))
Date:
before 1402
Geography:
Made in Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Culture:
Italian
Medium:
Tempera on canvas
Dimensions:
Overall: 94 1/4 x 60 1/4 x 1 in. (239.4 x 153 x 2.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings-Canvas
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1953
Accession Number:
53.37
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 305
Christ and the Virgin are shown pleading with God the Father for mercy on behalf of eight small figures, perhaps members of a prominent Florentine family. In the tradition of hieratic scale, the divine figures are portrayed many times larger than the mortals, who kneel in adoration and prayer. Pointing to the wound in his side, Christ says, "My Father, let those be saved for whom you wished me to suffer the Passion." The Virgin, holding one of her breasts, pleads, "Dearest son, because of the milk that I gave you, have mercy on them." The axis of God the Father, the dove of the Holy Spirit, and the kneeling Christ also represents the Trinity. The drama of the bold devotional image, with a geometric composition typical of Florentine painting of the later fourteenth century, was heightened by its original placement inside the entrance of the cathedral, where it faced the length of the vast interior.
Inscription: [on black band against background] PADRE MIO SIENO SALVI CHOSTORO PEQUALI TU / VOLESTI CHIO PATISSI PASSIONE (My Father, let those be saved for whom you wished me to suffer the Passion); DOLCIXIMO FIGLIUOLO PELLAC: / TE CHIO TIDIE ABBI MIA DI CHOSTORO (Dearest Son, because of the milk that I gave you, have mercy on them).
From the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy (removed sometime after 1846); [ William Blundell Spence 1814–1900, Florence (after 1846–sold 1856)] ; Alexander William Crawford Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford, 8th Earl of Balcarres 1812–1880, Haigh Hall, Wigan, Lancashire (1856–d.1880) ; by descent to his great-grandson, David Alexander Robert Lindsay, 28th Earl of Crawford and 11th Earl of Balcarres, Haigh Hall, Wigan, Lancashire (sold 1946) ; his sale, Christie's, London(October 11, 1946, no. 18) ; [ Arthur Kauffman, London (1946–sold 1953)]
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