Santa Francesca Romana (1384–1440) Clothed by the Virgin

Attributed to Antonio del Massaro da Viterbo (Italian, ca. 1450–ca. 1516)

Italian (Roman) Painter, about 1445
Tempera on wood, gold ground
21 3/4 x 14 7/8 in. (55.2 x 37.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscribed (with excerpts from accounts of the saint's visions, XCV and XLVII, from a manuscript of 1469 in the Vatican Library): (on Christ Child's scroll) Anima che si ordinate pigliate l'arme mee da mi si reformata che facci / lo mio volere puorti le insegne mee fa che vivi in amore la luce con ar / dore in ti farragio remanere, amame mi anima amame che t'agio ri / amata damme ad mi conforso cha io t'agio conforsata (Soul, you are thus prepared to take up my arms, so transformed by me that you will do my bidding. Wear my emblems, live in [holy] love. I will keep the light burning brightly within you. Love me, my Soul; love me as I have loved you. Comfort me as I have comforted you.); (on Virgin's scroll) . . . ette da l'alto creatore. che lo signore ve a accepte nella mea unione / . . . scelte nella mea chiamata la donna anuntiata tutte voi ve aspecta / . . . l'animo si reale. siate bene fuorti ad cio che ve intervenerane ([proceeded?] from the high creator . . . that the Lord has accepted you all in his union with me . . . you are in my appeal the woman united with all the others [and he] awaits you . . . the soul so regal. May you be strong in the face of whatever may happen to you.); (on Saint Paul's scroll) Preparate tu anima preparate ad questi bieni ad[?] questi . . . li quali . . . fa / chencie[?] si virile animosa et fervente . . . confiamata et . . . te ardere de amore . . . (Prepare yourself, soul; prepare yourself for these blessings, [for?] these . . . which . . . will make [you?] so strong, bold, and fervent . . . enflamed and . . . burning with [holy] love. . . .)

  • Provenance

    Santa Maria Nuova, Rome; Violet, Lady Melchett, London; Melchett sale, Sotheby's, London, March 6, lot 109A; Tómas Harris, London. Acquired by Robert Lehman after 1948.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History