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Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist

Michele da Verona (Michele di Zenone) (Italian, Verona 1470–1536/44 Verona)

probably late 1490s
Tempera and oil on wood
29 x 22 3/4 in. (73.7 x 57.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Anonymous Gift, 1927
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    A sharpness of light and hard, almost marble-like surfaces are characteristic of Michele da Verona's work. This is one of the few paintings that can be ascribed to him with confidence. The landscape background is reminiscent of the hills outside Verona.

  • Catalogue Entry


  • Provenance

    ?conte Ludovico Moscardo, Verona (by 1672–d. 1681; cat., 1672); ?Moscardo family, Verona (1681–1785); ?Teresa Moscardo, Verona (in 1785); ?Miniscalchi (later Miniscalchi-Erizzo) family, Verona (from 1785); conte Marcantonio Miniscalchi-Erizzo, Verona (by 1881–d. 1906); his son, conte Mario Miniscalchi-Erizzo, Verona; [Giuseppe Grassi, Rome]; [conte Alessandro Contini Bonacossi, Rome, as by Antonello da Messina, until 1922; sold to Agnew]; [Agnew, London and New York, 1922–27; sold to MMA]

  • Exhibition History

    Verona. location unknown. "Arte antica e moderna nella occasione della fiera di beneficenza in Verona," February 19–23, 1881, unnumbered cat.? (p. 8, as "Madonna col Bambino e San Giovanni," by an unknown artist [style of Carpaccio], lent by conte Marco Miniscalchi) [see Guzzo 2006].

    Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Early European Paintings," January 7–30, 1949, no. 3.

    Verona. Palazzo della Gran Guardia. "Mantegna e le arti a Verona: 1450–1500," September 16, 2006–January 28, 2007, no. 129.

  • References

    Note overo memorie del museo del conte Lodovico Moscardo nobile veronese. Verona, 1672, part 2, p. 470, under "Di varie pitture, che in questo museo si conservano" lists it as "La Vergine Madre con il Bambino, e S. Giovanni, mano di Francesco Moron Veronese," possibly this picture.

    Tancred Borenius. Madonna and Child with the Infant St. John by Antonello da Messina. [1922], pp. 5–7, attributes it to Antonello, noting the influence of Giovanni Bellini.

    Bernard Berenson. "Un possibile Antonello da Messina ed uno impossibile—II." Dedalo 4 (1923), pp. 99–121 [reprinted in English in "Three Essays in Method," Oxford, 1927, pp. 114–30].

    Bernard Berenson. "Un possibile Antonello da Messina ed uno impossibile." Dedalo 4 (1923), pp. 3, 14–44, ill. p. 13 [reprinted in English in "Three Essays in Method," Oxford, 1927, pp. 87, 92–113, fig. 100], rejects the attribution to Antonello, assigning it to a follower of Giovanni Bellini and dating it after 1500.

    Lionello Venturi. "Un Antonello." L'arte 26 (1923), pp. 270–76, fig. 5, attributes it to Antonello.

    B[ernard]. Berenson. "Nove pitture in cerca di un'attribuzione." Dedalo 5 (1925), p. 716 [reprinted in "Three Essays in Method," Oxford, 1927, p. 45].

    W[ilhelm von]. Bode. Letter to Agnew. September 23, 1926, attributes it to Antonello.

    "Lots of News—at the Metropolitan." Art Digest 1 (April 1, 1927), p. 8.

    Alan Burroughs. "X-raying the Veronese and the Antonello." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 22 (July 1927), pp. 192–94, ill. (overall and x-ray detail), discusses changes in the composition revealed in the x-ray.

    Bryson Burroughs. "Antonello da Messina." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 22 (March 1927), pp. 77–79, ill. [reprinted in Art News 25 (March 26, 1927), pp. 1–2, ill.], attributes it to Antonello and dates it 1475–79.

    Walter Pach. "A Problem of Modern Criticism." New York Herald Tribune Books (July 10, 1927), pp. 1, 6, ill., accepts Berenson's arguments against attributing the picture to Antonello.

    G[iuseppe]. Fio[cco]. in Enciclopedia italiana di scienze, lettere ed arti. 8, [Rome], 1930, p. 116, attributes it to Giovanni Buonconsiglio.

    Lionello Venturi. Pitture italiane in America. Milan, 1931, unpaginated, pl. CCLXXXI.

    Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 592, lists it under unknown Venetian painters of the fifteenth century, ascribing it to an artist between Bellini and Cristoforo Caselli and dating it about 1510.

    W. G. Constable. Letter to Harry B. Wehle. January 14, 1932, rejects the attribution to Antonello, and adds that Charles Holmes was also unconvinced by it when he saw the picture in London; feels that the work combines the influence of Giovanni Bellini with that of Antonello.

    Johann Lauts. "Antonello da Messina." Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien, n.s., 7 (1933), pp. 74–75, fig. 63, as close to the school of the Bellini, about 1500, perhaps by Caselli.

    Lionello Venturi. "Fifteenth Century Renaissance." Italian Paintings in America. 2, New York, 1933, unpaginated, pl. 376.

    Raimond van Marle. "The Renaissance Painters of Central and Southern Italy." The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. 15, The Hague, 1934, p. 538 n. 1, rejects the attribution to Antonello.

    Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 510.

    Stefano Bottari. "Aggiunte al primo Antonello." Le arti 1 (October–November 1938), p. 75, fig. 4, attributes it to a Vicentine painter of the fifteenth century, close to Montagna.

    Alan Burroughs. Art Criticism from a Laboratory. Boston, 1938, pp. 96–101, rejects the attribution to Antonello; discusses the possibility that it might be a late work by Caselli.

    F. Mason Perkins. Letter. March 24, 1938, rejects the attributions to Antonello and Michele, ascribing it to a north Italian artist influenced by Antonello and Giovanni Bellini.

    Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, p. 135, ill., attributes it to Michele da Verona and dates it about 1490.

    Ruth Wedgwood Kennedy. "Review of Ref. Wehle 1940." Art Bulletin 24 (June 1942), p. 195, accepts the attribution to Michele da Verona.

    Erwin Panofsky. Albrecht Dürer. Princeton, 1943, vol. 1, p. 113; vol. 2, fig. 158, notes the attribution to Michele da Verona and the fact that the theme is central Italian rather than Venetian.

    Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Venetian School. London, 1957, vol. 1, p. 61, pl. 526, tentatively lists it as by Caselli.

    Il Museo Civico di Vicenza: dipinti e sculture dal XIV al XV secolo. Venice, 1962, p. 98, as by Giovanni Buonconsiglio.

    Carlo Del Bravo. Architetti Verona no. 19 (1962), pp. 3–4 [see Ref. Zeri and Gardner 1986], dates it probably 1515–20.

    Fritz Heinemann. Giovanni Bellini e i Belliniani. Venice, [1962], vol. 1, p. 33, no. 123j; vol. 2, fig. 400, considers it derived from a lost painting by Giovanni Bellini and attributes it to Pasqualino Veneziano, influenced by Antonello.

    Lionello Puppi. "Review of Ref. Barbieri 1962." Arte lombarda 8 (1963), p. 303, states that Fiocco's [see Ref. 1930] attribution to Buonconsiglio, taken up by Barbieri, must have been a mistake, since the Museum's catalogues do not record a picture by Buonconsiglio.

    Lionello Puppi. "Giovanni Buonconsiglio detto Marescalco." Rivista dell'Istituto Nazionale d'Archeologia e Storia dell'Arte, n.s., 8–9 (1964–65), p. 364 n. 28.

    Gabriele Mandel. L'opera completa di Antonello da Messina. Milan, 1967, p. 88, no. 11, ill.

    David Alan Brown. "Correggio's 'Virgin and Child with the Infant St. John'." Museum Studies 7 (1972), pp. 11, 13, fig. 9, as attributed to Michele da Verona.

    Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 142, 330, 607.

    L. Saccomani. "Michele da Verona." PhD diss., Università degli Studi di Padova, 1973–74, pp. 34–48, 138–40 [see Ref. Guzzo 2006].

    Carlo Volpe. "Una Madonna di Cristoforo Caselli e un prototipo di Piero per il Veneto." Notizie da Palazzo Albani 12, nos. 1–2 (1983), p. 35 n. 3, attributes it to Michele da Verona.

    Ellen Callmann. "Romantic Proclivities in Some Cassoni." Interpretazioni veneziane: studi di storia dell'arte in onore di Michelangelo Muraro. Venice, 1984, p. 145, figs. 2, 3 (overall and detail), attributes it to an unknown Veronese painter and dates it about 1500; compares it with a tondo of Perseus and Andromeda (Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice).

    Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, North Italian School. New York, 1986, pp. 38–39, pl. 32, date it several years earlier than the Brera Crucifixion of 1501.

    Andrea Bacchi in Pinacoteca di Brera: scuola veneta. Milan, 1990, p. 356, under no. 190, mentions it as an early work by Michele.

    Sergio Marinelli in La pittura nel Veneto: il Quattrocento. 2, Milan, 1990, p. 645.

    Giorgio Fossaluzza. "Pittori friulani alla bottega di Alvise Vivarini e del Cima." Saggi e memorie di storia dell'arte 20 (1996), pp. 57, 86–87 n. 55.

    Enrico Maria Dal Pozzolo. Giovanni Bonconsiglio detto Marescalco: l'opera completa. Cinisello Balsamo (Milan), 1998, p. 210, no. R15, ill., includes it among rejected paintings, attributing it to Michele da Verona.

    Enrico Maria Guzzo in Mantegna e le arti a Verona: 1450–1500. Exh. cat., Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Verona. Venice, 2006, pp. 384–86, no. 129, ill. (color).

  • See also
    In the Museum