Lippo di Benivieni (Italian, Florentine, active 1296–1327)
Tempera on wood, gold ground
67 1/4 x 33 3/4 in. (170.8 x 85.7 cm)
Gift of Robert Lehman, 1963
Not on view
Inscription: Inscribed (on border of cloth of honor): [A]UE . MARISTELLA . dEI MAT[ER] / ALMA . ATQUE SEMPER VIRGO. (Hail, Star of the Sea, beloved Mother of God, and ever virgin [From Ave maris stella, a hymn to the Virgin].)
conte Borg de Balzan, Florence (?sold to Lehman); Philip Lehman, New York (by 1928–d. 1947; cat., 1928, pl. LXIV, as Umbrian school); his son, Robert Lehman, New York (1947–63)
Robert Lehman. The Philip Lehman Collection, New York: Paintings. Paris, 1928, unpaginated, pl. LXIV, calls it a work of the Umbrian school that combines Sienese and Florentine qualities; dates it about 1330 and rejects the suggestion that it was cut from a larger work.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 236, lists it as "Madonna with Holy Spirit," by an anonymous contemporary or immediate follower of Giotto.
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 203.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School. London, 1963, vol. 1, p. 83, lists it as "Madonna and Child and Holy Ghost," by an anonymous contemporary or immediate follower of Giotto.
Theodore Rousseau. "Reports of the Departments: European Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 23 (October 1964), pp. 66–67, ill. inside front cover, attributes it to an unknown Umbrian artist, about 1330.
Federico Zeri. Letter. February 1, 1964, calls it very close to the so-called "Lippus Benivieni".
Carlo Volpe. "Frammenti di Lippo di Benivieni." Paragone 23 (May 1972), pp. 12–13, fig. 14, considers it a late work of Lippo di Benivieni, and credits Giovanni Previtali for suggesting the attribution; calls it a fragment from a large Maestà, possibly with angels and saints.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 219, 315, 609, as by an unknown Florentine painter of the fourteenth century.
Federico Zeri. Letter to Everett Fahy. February 3, 1973, doubts Volpe's attribution to Lippo di Benivieni [see Ref. 1972], but considers it Florentine.
Miklós Boskovits in Richard Offner et al. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. Vol. 9, section 3, The Fourteenth Century: The Painters of the Miniaturist Tendency. new ed. Florence, 1984, pp. 32–33 n. 98, 181, 611, pls. LVIa (reconstruction), LVIb, attributes it to Lippo di Benivieni; believes it formed part of a large gabled altarpiece representing the Madonna and Child enthroned, with angels and possibly saints on either side; tentatively dates it to the second decade of the fourteenth century; states that Philip Lehman acquired it from conte Borg de Balzan.
Enza Biagi inLa pittura in Italia: il Duecento e il Trecento. Ed. Enrico Castelnuovo. revised and expanded ed. Milan, 1986, vol. 2, p. 588, lists it among works attributed to Lippo di Benivieni.
Monica Bietti Favi. "Indizi documentari su Lippo di Benivieni." Studi di storia dell'arte 1 (1990), pp. 246, 248 n. 42, fig. 7, calls it a fragment of a Maestà and places near the end of Lippo's career, possibly about 1320.
This picture probably formed the central part of a large Maestà altarpiece, showing the Virgin and Child enthroned with saints and angels (see Volpe 1972 and Boskovits 1984).