Asleep beneath the solemn gaze of his mother, the Christ Child’s pose is a reminder of his eventual death and sacrifice. Placed on a ledge that resembles an altar, the child doubles as a symbolic representation of the Eucharist, the Christian rite in which sacramental bread is blessed on an altar and becomes the body of Christ. This work is an important early one by Giovanni Bellini, the greatest painter of fifteenth-century Venice and one of the key figures of European painting. Its hard, linear quality is indebted to the example of Bellini’s brother-in-law, Andrea Mantegna, as well as to the sculpture of Donatello, which Bellini studied in Padua. The picture has suffered from a strong, abrasive cleaning.
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Title:Madonna Adoring the Sleeping Child
Artist:Giovanni Bellini (Italian, Venice, active by 1459–died 1516 Venice)
Medium:Tempera on wood
Dimensions:28 1/2 x 18 1/4 in. (72.4 x 46.4 cm)
Credit Line:Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
This picture of the Madonna adoring her sleeping son is universally considered one of the defining works of the young Bellini, the greatest painter of fifteenth-century Venice. Because the date of Bellini’s birth is not known and because the earliest certainly dated work is a painting of the Madonna and Child in the Accademia, Venice, of 1487, his early chronology as well as attributions to him are fraught with controversy. What can be said with confidence is that in its emphasis on a wiry line to define the contours of the figures and configuration of the drapery, the picture shows an obvious debt to Mantegna, who was Bellini’s brother-in-law. The heavy drapery on the Virgin’s left shoulder is no less reminiscent of the sculpture of Donatello and strongly suggests that the picture was painted after a visit by Bellini to Padua, where in 1459 he co-signed an altarpiece with his brother Gentile and his father, Jacopo Bellini. There he would have had occasion to observe Mantegna’s landmark altarpiece for the church of San Zeno in Verona and to study the bronze sculpture of Donatello for the church of the Santo. The picture is therefore likely to date from the years around 1460–64, though it has been dated to the mid-1450s as well. The fact that the picture field has an arched top, much like the devotional works of his father, also suggests an early date.
The landscape background is notable for the division between flat, planted fields to the right of the Virgin, and to the left an uncultivated one with hills, a winding path, and Roman ruins. Such contrasting landscape backgrounds were to become standard in Bellini’s work.
The motif of the sleeping child has been explained as a premonition of Christ’s death (Firestone 1942). In an article of 1966, Millard Meiss noted two paintings showing the sleeping Christ that bear inscriptions, one with a verse from the Song of Solomon 5:2 (I sleep but my heart waketh) and the other with a verse urging the Virgin to awaken her child so that the process of redemption can unfold (Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 110 [October 27, 1966], pp. 361–62).
There is a related composition by Quirizio da Murano in the Accademia, Venice (no. 29). Berenson (1916) cites two other variants by Andrea da Murano: one formerly in the Cannon collection, Fiesole (now Princeton University Art Museum), and one in the sacristy of the Redentore, Venice.
The picture has suffered from past over-cleaning and in consequence has lost much of its surface refinement.
Keith Christiansen 2011
Walther Fol, Rome (before d. 1890; as by Alvise Vivarini); [Jean Paul Richter, London and Florence, by 1893–95; purchased in Rome, "found in an old palace in Rome," sold for $5,000 to Davis]; Theodore M. Davis, Newport, R.I. (1895–d. 1915; his estate, on loan to The Met, 1915–30)
London. New Gallery. "Venetian Art," 1894–95, no. 67 (as by Giovanni Bellini, lent by Jean Paul Richter).
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Winter Exhibition," January–March 1894, no. 142 (as by Giovanni Bellini, lent by J. P. Richter).
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Winter 1903–4, no catalogue? (lent by Theodore M. Davis).
Venice. Palazzo Ducale. "Mostra di Giovanni Bellini," June 12–October 5, 1949, no. 5.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art Treasures of the Metropolitan," November 7, 1952–September 7, 1953, no. 83.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Venetian Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," May 1–September 2, 1974, no catalogue.
Padua. Musei Civici agli Eremitani. "Mantegna e Padova: 1445–1460," September 16, 2006–January 14, 2007, no. 73.
Rome. Scuderie del Quirinale. "Giovanni Bellini," September 30, 2008–January 11, 2009, no. 5.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art in Renaissance Venice, 1400–1515: Paintings and Drawings from the Museum's Collections," November 8, 2011–February 5, 2012, no catalogue.
London. National Gallery. "Mantegna & Bellini," October 1, 2018–January 27, 2019, unnumbered cat. (fig. 111).
Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. "Mantegna & Bellini," March 1–June 30, 2019, unnumbered cat. (fig. 111).
Jean Paul Richter. "Die Winterausstellungen der Royal Academy und der New Gallery in London." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst 5 (1894), p. 148, ill. p. 147, attributes it to Giovanni Bellini and dates it about 1470.
Costanza Jocelyn Ffoulkes. "Le esposizioni d'arte italiana a Londra." Archivio storico dell'arte 7 (1894), pp. 260, 262.
Bernhard Berenson. The Venetian Painters of the Renaissance. 3rd ed. New York, 1894, p. 90 [3rd, illustrated ed., 1897, p. 82], lists it as an early work.
Costanza Jocelyn Ffoulkes. "L'exposizione dell'arte veneta a Londra." Archivio storico dell'arte, n.s., 1 (1895), p. 72, fig. 1, tentatively suggests dating it before 1470.
Jean Paul Richter. Letter. 1895, dates it about 1450–55.
Bernhard Berenson. Letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner. July 10, 1895, recommends this painting, then in the Richter collection, for purchase by Mrs. Gardner.
Bernhard Berenson. Venetian Painting, Chiefly Before Titian, at the Exhibition of Venetian Art: The New Gallery, 1895. London, , p. 25 [reprinted in "The Study and Criticism of Italian Art," London, 1901, p. 122].
G[eorg]. Gronau. "Correspondance d'Angleterre: l'art vénitien à Londres, à propos de l'exposition de la New Gallery (deuxième article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 3rd ser., 13 (March 1895), pp. 251–52, calls it an early work and notes the connection with Mantegna and the Vivarini.
Roger E. Fry. Giovanni Bellini. [2nd ed.]. London, 1900, pp. 17–18, considers it the earliest of Bellini's known Madonnas and the only one with the Virgin praying before the sleeping Child, a motif common in the work of Vivarini.
Lionello Venturi. Le origini della pittura veneziana, 1300–1500. Venice, 1907, pp. 359–61, notes its similarity in style to Mantegna, especially in the figure of the Madonna, and suggests that it could be a "formal imitation" after a lost picture by Mantegna; dates it before 1464.
R[oger]. E. F[ry]. "A Madonna and Child: By Giovanni Bellini." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 3 (October 1908), p. 181, as an early Madonna in tempera belonging to Mr. Theodore M. Davis.
G. Gronau. Die Künstlerfamilie Bellini. Bielefeld, 1909, p. 56, fig. 41.
G. Gronau inAllgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker. Vol. 3, Leipzig, 1909, p. 259, lists it among works of Bellini's earliest period.
Jean Paul Richter. The Mond Collection, an Appreciation. London, 1910, vol. 1, p. 67, dates it before 1460 and notes that it was attributed to Alvise Vivarini when it was owned by Fol.
Joseph Breck. "Dipinti italiani nella raccolta del Signor Teodoro Davis." Rassegna d'arte 11 (July 1911), p. 111, calls it "almost a formal imitation" of Mantegna; dates it about 1460.
Tancred Borenius, ed. A History of Painting in North Italy: Venice, Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Ferrara, Milan, Friuli, Brescia, from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century.. By J[oseph]. A[rcher]. Crowe and G[iovanni]. B[attista]. Cavalcaselle. 2nd ed. [1st ed. 1871]. London, 1912, vol. 1, p. 141 n. 1, lists it among Bellini's early works.
Roger Fry. "'The Redeemer' by Giovanni Bellini." Burlington Magazine 21 (April 1912), p. 15, as Mr. Theodore Davies's [sic] "Madonna".
Bernhard Berenson. "Les quatre triptyques bellinesques de l'Église de la Carità à Venise." Gazette des beaux-arts, 4th ser., 10 (September 1913), p. 200 [reprinted in English in "The Study and Criticism of Italian Art," vol. 3, London, 1916, p. 74].
A[dolfo]. Venturi. "La pittura del Quattrocento." Storia dell'arte italiana. Vol. 7, part 3, Milan, 1914, p. 432, fig. 335, notes the influence of Mantegna.
Adolfo Venturi. "La pittura del Quattrocento." Storia dell'arte italiana. Vol. 7, part 4, Milan, 1915, p. 272, fig. 151, dates it close to the Madonna in the Potenziani collection, Rieti (now Robert Lehman Collection, MMA).
Bernard Berenson. Venetian Painting in America: The Fifteenth Century. New York, 1916, pp. 63–65, ill. (frontispiece), calls it Giovanni Bellini's earliest extant Madonna, the best of his first period; considers it free from Mantegna's influence and observes the connection with the Vivarini; notes possible variants after the painting by Quirizio da Murano and Andrea da Murano.
Detlev von Hadeln. "Bellini's "Madonna del Baldacchino"." Burlington Magazine 53 (December 1928), pp. 275–76, dates it about 1463, arguing that Bartolomeo Vivarini copied this Madonna in an altarpiece (Accademia, Venice) of 1464.
Georg Gronau. Giovanni Bellini: Des Meisters Gemälde. Stuttgart, 1930, p. 200, ill. p. 14, suggests works by the school of Murano may have provided the compositional model, perhaps a painting by Quirizio [da Murano] in the Accademia, Venice (no. 29).
Bryson Burroughs. "The Theodore M. Davis Bequest: The Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 26, section 2 (March 1931), pp. 14, 16, ill. p. 17.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 71.
Lionello Venturi. Italian Paintings in America. Vol. 2, Fifteenth Century Renaissance. New York, 1933, unpaginated, pl. 384, notes the influence of Jacopo Bellini and Mantegna absorbed by the artist in this early yet fully developed work.
Luitpold Dussler. Giovanni Bellini. Frankfurt, 1935, pp. 25–26, 137, fig. 1, dates it about 1460.
Raimond van Marle. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. Vol. 17, The Renaissance Painters of Venice. The Hague, 1935, pp. 218–20, fig. 122, dates it soon after 1462; observes Mantegna's influence and suggests the Vivarini 1450 polyptych in Bologna as the likely compositional prototype; notes Muranese productions with this motif are "of uncertain but probably later date".
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 62.
F. J. M[ather]., Jr. in J. Paul Richter. The Cannon Collection of Italian Paintings of the Renaissance. Princeton, 1936, p. 41, notes that the painting by Andrea da Murano in the Cannon collection is derived from our painting, which he calls the finest example of the motif of the Madonna with the sleeping Child.
Wart Arslan. "Review of Dussler 1935." Archivio veneto, 5th ser., 19 (1936), p. 284, finds Hadeln's [see Ref. 1928] dating convincing; calls this work close to the Pietà in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan.
Carlo Gamba. Giovanni Bellini. Milan, 1937, p. 43, fig. 3, calls it an early work, and notes the influence of Mantegna; remarks that the theme is close to the Vivarini yet the folds of the Virgin's mantle over her shoulders suggest the composition was derived from a Florentine prototype.
Gisela M. A. Richter. Letter to Wehle. December 24, 1937, notes that her father [Jean Paul Richter] acquired the painting, then attributed to Alvise Vivarini, "between 40 and 50 years ago" from Monsieur Fol, a Swiss from Geneva; discusses the restoration her father arranged and his attribution of the work to Bellini.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 181–82, ill.
Bernhard Degenhart. "Ein Beitrag zu den Zeichnungen Gentile und Giovanni Bellinis und Dürers erstem aufenthalt in Venedig." Jahrbuch der preussischen Kunstsammlungen 61 (1940), p. 46, fig. 11 (detail), notes the similarity to a Bellini drawing in the Palazzo Corsini (no. 130471) in Rome.
Gizella Firestone. "The Sleeping Christ-Child in Italian Renaissance Representations of the Madonna." Marsyas 2 (1942), p. 47, pl. 20, fig. 4, dates it between 1450 and 1460 and discusses the motif of the sleeping Child and its symbolic relationship with the Pietà.
Vittorio Moschini. Giambellino. Bergamo, 1943, p. 12, pl. 8, calls it an early work and dates it in the 1460s; notes a "remarkable closeness" with some of Bartolomeo Vivarini's paintings.
Hans Tietze and E. Tietze-Conrat. The Drawings of the Venetian Painters in the 15th and 16th Centuries. New York, 1944, p. 89.
Philip Hendy and Ludwig Goldscheider. Giovanni Bellini. Oxford, 1945, pl. 3.
Roberto Longhi. Viatico per cinque secoli di pittura veneziana. Florence, 1946, p. 55, dates it tentatively before 1460, close to the Madonnas in the Kessler, Johnson, and Lehman collections and to one in the Museo del Castello Sforzesco in Milan.
Roberto Longhi. "Calepino Veneziano." Arte veneta 1 (April–June 1947), p. 87.
Luitpold Dussler. Giovanni Bellini. Vienna, 1949, pp. 13, 87, pl. 6, dates it around 1460–65.
Roberto Longhi. "The Giovanni Bellini Exhibition." Burlington Magazine 91 (October 1949), pp. 277–78 [reprinted in Longhi, Opere complete. 14 vols. Florence, 1967–84, vol. 10, Richerche sulla pittura veneta (1946–1969), 1978, p. 103], proposing a chronology of Bellini's work, dates this picture between 1450 and 1455.
Anna Maria Brizio. "Considerazioni du Giovanni Bellini." Arte veneta 3 (1949), pp. 26–27, fig. 34, dates it about 1460, yet after the Carità tritychs (Accademia, Venice).
Rodolfo Pallucchini inGiovanni Bellini. Exh. cat., Palazzo Ducale. Venice, 1949, pp. 34–35, no. 5, ill., dates it about 1460–62, before the Carità triptych.
Bernhard Degenhart. "Nach der Bellini Austellung." Zeitschrift für Kunst 4 (1950), p. 6.
Art Treasures of the Metropolitan: A Selection from the European and Asiatic Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1952, p. 224, colorpl. 83.
G. Mariacher. "Dipinti restaurati al Museo Correr di Venezia." Bollettino d'arte 37 (July–September 1952), p. 264, dates it before 1470.
Luigi Coletti. Pittura veneta del Quattrocento. Novara, 1953, p. LXXXIV n. 81, repeats Longhi's chronology [see Ref. 1949].
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 8.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), ill. p. 17.
Bernard Berenson. Lotto. 3rd ed. Milan, 1955, p. 8, quotes Morelli as attributing this painting, which he calls one of the earliest works by Giovanni Bellini, to Alvise Vivarini.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Venetian School. London, 1957, vol. 1, p. 32, lists it as an early work.
Giles Robertson. "The Earlier Works of Giovanni Bellini." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 23 (1960), p. 47–48 n. 13, calls it a very early work, and groups it with the Transfiguration and Pietà in the Correr Museum, Venice.
Fritz Heinemann. Giovanni Bellini e i Belliniani. Venice, , p. 3, no. 10, fig. 20, dates it between 1465 and 1470, and notes a number of old copies.
Rodolfo Pallucchini. Giovanni Bellini. London, , pp. 20, 132–33, fig. 14, dates it to the middle 1450s and remarks that the iconographic theme is derived from works by Antonio and Bartolomeo Vivarini.
Stefano Bottari. Tutta la pittura di Giovanni Bellini. Milan, 1963, vol. 1, p. 23, pl. 9.
T. Pignatti inDizionario biografico degli italiani. Vol. 7, Rome, 1965, p. 701, dates it and the Kessler Madonna (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) to just after 1450, calling both paintings "Donatellian" in type and relief-like.
Camillo Semenzato. Giovanni Bellini. Florence, 1966, p. 10.
Giles Robertson. Giovanni Bellini. Oxford, 1968, pp. 36–37, 119–20, pl. 19 b, notes the influence of Mantegna, Antonio Vivarini, and Jacopo Bellini, and dates it in the early 1460s.
Terisio Pignatti inL'opera completa di Giovanni Bellini. Milan, 1969, p. 86, no. 12, ill., dates it 1450–55.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 22, 342, 607.
Norbert Huse. Studien zu Giovanni Bellini. Berlin, 1972, pp. 4, 13, pl. 3, calls it an early work and groups it with the Madonna in the Lehman collection, New York, and the Pietà in the Correr Museum in Venice.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Venetian School. New York, 1973, pp. 5–6, pl. 5, note that this painting is generally accepted as one of the earliest surviving works of Giovanni Bellini and date it in or before the early 1460s; observe that the theme of the Madonna in prayer with the sleeping Child on a parapet before her was often used by Antonio Vivarini and his circle, and mention that the picture's surface has suffered from paint loss, particularly the ultramarine blue of the Virgin's robe.
Johannes Wilde. Venetian Art from Bellini to Titian. Oxford, 1974, pp. 1–4, ill., remarks on the novelty of this work in Venetian art, and sees in it the influence of Mantegna and Donatello.
Rona Goffen. "Icon and Vision: Giovanni Bellini's Half-Length Madonnas." Art Bulletin 57 (December 1975), pp. 492, 503, fig. 14, identifies it as a characteristic early work of about 1460; notes that the treatment of the sleeping Child is intended as a prefiguration of His death and the landscape setting signifies Paradise.
Rona Goffen. "A 'Madonna' by Lorenzo Lotto." Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 76 (1978), pp. 38, 39, fig. 9, dates it about 1455–60; comments that the pose of the Child evokes contemporary tomb sculpture.
Rollin van N. Hadley. "What Might Have Been: Pictures Mrs. Gardner Did Not Acquire." Fenway Court (1979), p. 38, ill.
Howard Collins. "Major Narrative Paintings by Jacopo Bellini." Art Bulletin 64 (September 1982), p. 472, fig. 15.
Peter Humfrey inLa pittura in Italia: il Quattrocento. Ed. Federico Zeri. revised and expanded ed. [Milan], 1987, vol. 1, p. 188.
Alessandro Conti. "Giovanni Bellini fra Marco Zoppo ed Antonello da Messina." Antonello da Messina. Messina, 1987, p. 282 n. 10, dates it 1450–55, following the chronology proposed by Longhi in 1949 [see Ref.].
Rona Goffen. Giovanni Bellini. New Haven, 1989, pp. 28–32, 34–35, 37, 49, 52, 60, 73, 287, 297 nn. 12, 17, 20, 298 n. 30, 308 n. 11, fig. 14, as an important early work by Giovanni Bellini in poor condition; notes that it breaks with the Venetian International style of Jacopo Bellini; suggests that many details have a eucharistic significance; observes that it was adapted by B. Vivarini in a work dated 1481 in the de Young Museum, San Francisco.
Mauro Lucco inLa pittura nel Veneto: il Quattrocento. Ed. Mauro Lucco. Vol. 2, Milan, 1990, p. 414, relates it to Gentile Bellini's "Madonna and Child with Two Donors" (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin) of about 1460.
Alberta De Nicolò Salmazo inLa pittura nel Veneto: il Quattrocento. Ed. Mauro Lucco. Vol. 2, Milan, 1990, p. 529, includes it with works that she dates close in time to Mantegna's San Zeno altarpiece [about 1457–60].
Keith Christiansen inAndrea Mantegna. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London. New York, 1992, pp. 152–53, ill., dates it about 1455.
Anchise Tempestini. Giovanni Bellini: catalogo completo dei dipinti. 1992, pp. 24–25, no. 4, ill. (color), dates it to the early 1460s or before.
Catarina Schmidt. "Review of Goffen 1989." Kunstchronik 45 (May 1992), pp. 216, 218–19.
Rona Goffen inCarpaccio, Bellini, Tura, Antonello e altri restauri quattrocenteschi della Pinacoteca del Museo Correr. Ed. Attilia Dorigato. Exh. cat., Museo Correr, Venice. Milan, 1993, p. 42.
Mauro Lucco. "Marco Zoppo nella pittura veneziana." Marco Zoppo, Cento 1433–1478 Venezia. Ed. Berenice Giovannucci Vigi. [Bologna], 1993, p. 117.
Catarina Schmidt. "Una 'Meditazione sul Cristo morto' di Marco Zoppo." Marco Zoppo, Cento 1433–1478 Venezia. Ed. Berenice Giovannucci Vigi. [Bologna], 1993, pp. 141, 144 n. 30, dates it 1460–65.
Jean Paris. L'atelier Bellini. Paris, 1995, p. 166.
Roberto Longhi. Il palazzo non finito: saggi inediti, 1910-1926. Ed. Francesco Frangi and Cristina Montagnani. Milan, 1995, pp. 372, 375–76, 381, 392 n. 21.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 72, ill.
Eliot W. Rowlands. The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: Italian Paintings, 1300–1800. Kansas City, Mo., 1996, pp. 115, 118.
Peter Humfrey inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 3, New York, 1996, p. 661, calls it and the Lehman Madonna "the earliest of his magnificent series of half-length Madonnas".
Anchise Tempestini. Giovanni Bellini. Milan, 1997, pp. 51, 192–93, no. 4, ill.
Anchise Tempestini. Giovanni Bellini. Milan, 2000, pp. 34–35, 174, no. 4 (of dipinti autografi), ill. (color, overall and detail; black and white).
David Alan Brown inItalian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century. Washington, 2003, p. 40, mentions it in connection with Antonello da Messina's Madonna (National Gallery of Art, Washington) of about 1475, which also contains the landscape background, cushion, and parapet.
Otto Pächt. Venetian Painting in the 15th Century: Jacopo, Gentile and Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Mantegna. Ed. Margareta Vyoral-Tschapka and Michael Pächt. London, 2003, p. 165, fig. 162.
Robert Echols inItalian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century. Washington, 2003, pp. 528, 685, mentions it as an influence on Bartolomeo Montagna's Madonna of about 1490 and Bartolomeo Vivarini's Madonna of about 1475 (both National Gallery of Art, Washington); mistakenly states that it is dated 1472.
Keith Christiansen. "Giovanni Bellini e la maniera devota." Da Bellini a Veronese: temi di arte veneta. Ed. Gennaro Toscano and Francesco Valcanover. Venice, 2004, pp. 136–37, pl. 9 [same text published in English in "Giovanni Bellini and the Art of Devotion," Indianapolis, 2004], asserts that it was conceived principally as an object of devotion rather than as a work of art.
Keith Christiansen. "Giovanni Bellini and the Practice of Devotional Painting." Giovanni Bellini and the Art of Devotion. Ed. Ronda Kasl. Indianapolis, 2004, pp. 31–32, fig. 25 [same text published in Italian in "Da Bellini a Veronese: temi di arte veneta," Venice, 2004], asserts that it was conceived principally as an object of devotion rather than as a work of art.
Keith Christiansen. "Bellini and Mantegna." The Cambridge Companion to Giovanni Bellini. Ed. Peter Humfrey. Cambridge, 2004, pp. 52, 57, 66–68.
Peter Humfrey inThe Cambridge Companion to Giovanni Bellini. Ed. Peter Humfrey. Cambridge, 2004, pp. 2–4, 6, pl. II.
Mauro Lucco. "Bellini and Flemish Painting." The Cambridge Companion to Giovanni Bellini. Ed. Peter Humfrey. Cambridge, 2004, p. 77.
Debra Pincus. "Bellini and Sculpture." The Cambridge Companion to Giovanni Bellini. Ed. Peter Humfrey. Cambridge, 2004, pp. 124, 126, 300 n. 15.
George Goldner. "Bellini's Drawings." The Cambridge Companion to Giovanni Bellini. Ed. Peter Humfrey. Cambridge, 2004, p. 236, relates it to a drawing by Bellini of five studies of a child (Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum).
Francesca Rossi inMantegna e le arti a Verona: 1450–1500. Ed. Sergio Marinelli and Paola Marini. Exh. cat., Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Verona. Venice, 2006, p. 251, under no. 34.
Mauro Lucco inAntonello da Messina: l'opera completa. Ed. Mauro Lucco. Exh. cat., Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome. Cinisello Balsamo (Milan), 2006, p. 224, suggests that the composition influenced Antonello da Messina's Benson Madonna (National Gallery of Art, Washington).
Alberta De Nicolò Salmazo et al. inMantegna e Padova: 1445–1460. Ed. Davide Banzato et al. Exh. cat., Musei Civici agli Eremitani, Padua. Milan, 2006, pp. 27, 298–300, no. 73, ill. (color).
Mauro Lucco inGiovanni Bellini. Ed. Mauro Lucco and Giovanni Carlo Federico Villa. Exh. cat., Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome. Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, 2008, pp. 29, 37 n. 30, pp. 144, 146–47, no. 5, ill. (color).
Oskar Bätschmann. Giovanni Bellini. London, 2008, pp. 42–43, 72, fig. 37 (color), dates it about 1455–60.
Luciano Bellosi inMantegna, 1431–1506. Ed. Giovanni Agosti and Dominique Thiébaut. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2008, pp. 106, 123, fig. 22 (color detail), includes it with other early works that he dates to about the time of two miniatures that he attributes to Bellini from the "Géographie" of Strabon (Bibliothèque Municipale, Albi), dated 1459.
Andrea De Marchi inMantegna: La prédelle de San Zeno de Vérone, 1457–1459. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours. Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, 2009, p. 21 n. 15, agrees with Bellosi [see Ref. 2008] on the importance of the Strabon miniature in Albi for establishing a chronology of Bellini's early work.
Guillaume Cassegrain inTitien, Tintoret, Véronèse . . . Rivalités à Venise. Ed. Vincent Delieuvin et al. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 2009, p. 400, dates it about 1455.
Barbara G. Lane. Hans Memling: Master Painter in Fifteenth-Century Bruges. London, 2009, pp. 229, 245 n. 64.
Catarina Schmidt Arcangeli. Giovanni Bellini e la pittura veneta a Berlino: Le collezioni di James Simon e Edward Solly alla Gemäldegalerie. Verona, 2015, pp. 119, 122, ill. p. 121 (color).
Virginia Brilliant. Italian, Spanish, and French Paintings in the Ringling Museum of Art. New York, 2017, p. 159, fig. I.94.2 (color), under no. I.94.
Annette Hojer inFlorentiner Malerei, Alte Pinakothek: Die Gemälde des 14. bis 16. Jahrhunderts. Ed. Andreas Schumacher, Annette Kranz, and Annette Hojer. Berlin, 2017, p. 311 n. 26, under no. 18.
Caroline Campbell inMantegna & Bellini. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2018, pp. 27, 185.
Dagmar Korbacher inMantegna & Bellini. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2018, pp. 118, 122, 270–71 n. 25, fig. 111 (color).
Alexander Röstel in Caroline Campbell et al. Mantegna & Bellini. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2018, p. 290.
Johannes Grave. Giovanni Bellini: The Art of Contemplation. Munich, 2018, pp. 72, 77–78, 268 n. 33, p. 276, fig. 47 (color), discusses the inclusion of a parapet in this and other early Madonna and Child paintings by Bellini.
Old Masters. Christie's, New York. May 1, 2019, unpaginated, under no. 27.
Caroline Elam. Roger Fry and Italian Art. London, 2019, pp. 351, 355–56 n. 6, pp. 358–59 n. 5, fig. 2.144 (color), reprints Fry 1908.
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