Workshop of Paolo Veneziano (Italian, Venice, active by 1333–died 1358/62)
Tempera on wood, gold ground
Overall, with shaped top, 32 1/4 x 19 3/4 in. (81.9 x 50.2 cm); painted surface 31 1/2 x 18 3/4 in. (80 x 47.6 cm)
Bequest of Edward Fowles, 1971
Not on view
Lacking the exquisite facture characteristic of Paolo Veneziano—the founder of Venetian painting—this picture must have been painted in his workshop and conveys some of the decorative richness and tender expressions that were his legacy. The picture may have been the center of an altarpiece, possibly painted for a city along the Adriatic coast. It has suffered a good deal, particularly in the face of the Virgin where there is a loss in her right cheek. The blue of her drapery has scattered losses.
Carl Anton Reichel, Grossgmain, Austria (in 1912); [Giuseppe Grassi, Rome, in 1917]; [Duveen, Paris, New York and London, 1917–after 1963; transferred to Fowles, partner in the firm]; Edward Fowles, New York (after 1963–d. 1971; on loan to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1965–66 and the Metropolitan Museum, 1966–71)
Cincinnati Art Museum. "Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture by Italian Artists," April 1921, no catalogue (lent by Duveen Brothers) [see Zeri and Gardner 1973].
London. Matthiesen Gallery. "Venetian Paintings and Drawings," February 23–April 6, 1939, no. 1.
Stockholm. Nationalmuseum. "Konstens Venedig," October 20, 1962–February 10, 1963, no. 38 (lent by Duveen Brothers, New York).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Venetian Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," May 1–September 2, 1974, no catalogue.
Bernard Berenson. Letter. 1917, attributes this painting to Paolo Veneziano.
Evelyn Sandberg Vavalà. "Maestro Paolo Veneziano." Burlington Magazine 57 (October 1930), p. 178, no. 27, pl. VIII C, notes that the composition is similar to that of the Madonna in Padua, emphasizes the Gothic qualities of the picture, and dates it in the artist's late period.
Giuseppe Fiocco. "Le primizie di maestro Paolo Veneziano." Dedalo 11 (1931), p. 878.
Robert Langton Douglas. Letter. 1942, believes that this picture, in which Byzantine and Gothic elements are combined, is one of Paolo's latest works, and suggests that he may have gone to Florence and been influenced by the paintings of Bernardo Daddi.
George Martin Richter. Letter. 1942, compares it to the Madonna of 1347 in Carpineta, notes that the Gothic quality of the design is more pronounced, and dates it to the 1350s.
Lionello Venturi. Letter. 1942, dates it about 1350 and calls it an ideal synthesis of Byzantine and Gothic elements.
William E. Suida. Letter. 1942, compares it to the Madonna of 1347 in Carpineta, calls it an early work and dates it about 1340.
Victor Lasareff. "Maestro Paolo e la pittura veneziana del suo tempo." Arte veneta 8 (1954), pp. 83–84, 89, dates it to the second half of the 1340s and calls it one of the latest pictures from Paolo Veneziano's workshop.
Åke Bengtsson. Konstens Venedig. Ed. Pontus Grate. Exh. cat.Stockholm, 1962, pp. 46–47, no. 38, pl. 4, dates it after 1350.
Rodolfo Pallucchini. La pittura veneziana del trecento. Venice, 1964, pp. 41, 43, 49, fig. 119, notes the similarity in composition to the Madonnas in Carpineta and Budapest; dates it between 1347 and 1349; wrongly locates it in the Wildenstein collection, New York.
Michelangelo Muraro. Paolo da Venezia. Milan, 1969, pp. 42, 121–22, fig. 1 [English ed. 1970, pp. 36, 140–41, fig. 1], attributes it to a follower of Paolo Veneziano and dates it about 1340–50; notes that the figure of the Child is similar to the Child in the Carpineta picture, but that the MMA painting is much weaker; wrongly locates it in the Norton Simon Foundation, Los Angeles.
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. 47–48, pl. 51, call it characteristic of Paolo's late phase, dating it 1350 or somewhat later; consider it the center of an altarpiece to which two panels in the Yale University Museum, Saint John the Baptist and Saint Mary Magdalen (nos. 1959.15.4a and b) may have belonged.
Anthony M. Clark inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York, 1975, p. 91, ill.
Anna Tambini. Pittura dall'alto medioevo al tardogotico nel territorio di Faenza e Forlì. Faenza, 1982, p. 58 n. 3.
Andrea De Marchi. Letter to Everett Fahy. December 21, 1997, calls it workshop of Paolo Veneziano, suggesting Paolo's son Giovanni as the possible author; notes a similarity in the slenderness of form with Paolo's "Sanseverino Marche" polyptych in the Frick Collection, New York, which is of greater quality.
Mojmír S. Frinta. "Part I: Catalogue Raisonné of All Punch Shapes." Punched Decoration on Late Medieval Panel and Miniature Painting. Prague, 1998, p. 149, classifies the punch marks appearing in this painting, a type found specifically in Paolo Veneziano's paintings.
Alessandro Marchi. "Trecento veneziano nelle terre adriatiche marchigiane." Pittura veneta nelle marche. Ed. Valter Curzi. Cinisello Balsamo (Milan), 2000, pp. 35, 51 n. 42, suggests that it may have been made for the Romagna-Marche region based on its connection with the two Yale panels; calls it workshop of Paolo Veneziano, following the Carpineta Madonna.
This work was the center of an altarpiece to which two panels depicting Saints John the Baptist and Mary Magdalen (Yale University Museum, New Haven, Connecticut; nos. 1959.15.4a and b) may also have belonged.