Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Madonna and Child

Italian (Venetian) Painter (second quarter 15th century)
Tempera on wood
Overall, with added strips, 15 3/8 x 10 in. (39.1 x 25.4 cm); painted surface 14 1/4 x 9 in. (36.2 x 22.9 cm)
Credit Line:
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Accession Number:
Not on view
conte della Porta, Gubbio; [Elia Volpi, Villa Pia, Florence, until 1916; his sale, American Art Galleries, New York, November 21–27, 1916, no. 992, as by Gentile da Fabriano, for $4,700 to Kleinberger]; [Kleinberger, New York, 1916; sold for $5,170 to Friedsam]; Michael Friedsam, New York (1916–d. 1931)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Michael Friedsam Collection," November 15, 1932–April 9, 1933, no catalogue.

Bernard Berenson in The Michael Friedsam Collection. [completed 1928], pp. 66–68, dates it about 1450 and tentatively attributes it and a Madonna and Child in the Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, Budapest, to Antonio da Negroponte.

Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 593, lists it among fifteenth-century works by unknown Venetian painters, tentatively suggesting an attribution to Antonio da Negroponte.

Bryson Burroughs and Harry B. Wehle. "The Michael Friedsam Collection: Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27, section 2 (November 1932), p. 32, no. 50, call it Venetian school, about 1450; note that the coat of arms at the bottom of the picture is that of the Cornaro family of Venice.

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

F. Mason Perkins. Letter. March 24, 1938, attributes it to an anonymous artist strongly influenced by Antonio Vivarini.

S. A. Callisen. "The Iconography of the Cock on the Column." Art Bulletin 21 (June 1939), p. 177.

Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 172–73, ill., attributes it to an anonymous Venetian painter and dates it mid-fifteenth century.

Gizella Firestone. "The Sleeping Christ-Child in Italian Renaissance Representations of the Madonna." Marsyas 2 (1942), p. 49, fig. 9, discusses the iconography of the veil held by the Madonna and of the Child's pose.

Luigi Coletti. Letter. December 29, 1949, tentatively agrees with Berenson's attribution to Antonio da Negroponte, and notes the influence of Gentile da Fabriano combined with that of Jacopo Bellini.

Edoardo Arslan. Letter. April 21, 1952, calls it close to Giovanni d'Alemagna.

Luigi Coletti. Pittura veneta del Quattrocento. Novara, 1953, p. XLIX.

Carlo Volpe. "Donato Bragadin ultimo gotico." Arte veneta 9 (1955), pp. 19, 21, accepts Longhi's [see Ref. 1937] attribution to Antonio Vivarini.

Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Venetian School. London, 1957, vol. 1, p. 205, lists it among fifteenth-century works by unknown Venetian painters, no longer mentioning Antonio da Negroponte.

Marcel Rothlisberger. "Studi su Jacopo Bellini." Saggi e memorie di storia dell'arte 2 (1959), p. 81 n. 50, calls it possibly an early work by Jacopo Bellini.

Rodolfo Pallucchini. I Vivarini. Venice, [1962], p. 86, calls it a work of the circle of Jacopo Bellini.

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 211, 328, 607, as Attributed to Antonio Vivarini.

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, p. 94, pl. 105, attribute it to an anonymous Venetian painter and date it to the second quarter of the fifteenth century; note similarities to Jacopo Bellini, Donato Bragadin, and Antonio Vivarini.

Carl Huter. Letter to Elizabeth Gardner. December 10, 1974, writes that after seeing the work in its newly cleaned state, he has decided to retain his attribution to Jacopo Bellini.

Carl Huter. "Early Works by Jacopo Bellini." Arte veneta 28 (1974), pp. 18–20, fig. 15, calls it an early work by Jacopo Bellini, suggesting a date of about 1430; compares it with Jacopo's later Madonna of Humility in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and also relates it to mature works by Gentile da Fabriano.

Miklós Boskovits. "Per Jacopo Bellini pittore (postilla ad un colloquio)." Paragone 36 (January–May 1985), p. 122 n. 16, accepts Huter's [see Refs. 1974] attribution to Jacopo Bellini and dates it 1430–35.

Giorgio Fossaluzza in Arte in Lombardia tra Gotico e Rinascimento. Exh. cat., Palazzo Reale. Milan, 1988, p. 271.

Maria Rita Silvestrelli in Gentile da Fabriano and the Other Renaissance. Ed. Laura Laureati and Lorenza Mochi Onori. Exh. cat., Spedale di Santa Maria del Buon Gesù, Fabriano. Milan, 2006, p. 120 [Italian ed., "Gentile da Fabriano e l'altro Rinascimento"].

The subject is the Madonna of Humility. The angels carry the instruments of the Passion. God the Father appears above. The coat of arms at the bottom of the work has been identified as that of the Cornaro family of Venice.

According to an undated, handwritten note on an old catalogue card, Venturi tentatively attributed this work to Jacopo Bellini.
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