Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Holy Family with Saint Paul and a Donor

Style of Rogier van der Weyden (Netherlandish, mid-15th century)
Oil on wood
Overall, with added strip, 22 5/8 x 19 in. (57.5 x 48.3 cm); painted surface 22 x 18 1/8 in. (55.9 x 46 cm)
Credit Line:
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Accession Number:
Not on view
Guicciardi, Milan (as by Van der Goes); Benigno Crespi, Milan (by 1900–1914; his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, June 4, 1914, no. 96, as by Rogier van der Weyden); [art dealer, Rome, in 1924]; Achillito Chiesa, Milan (until 1926; his sale, American Art Galleries, New York, April 16, 1926, no. 36, for $14,500 to Kleinberger); [Kleinberger, New York, 1926–27; sold for $20,000 to Friedsam]; Michael Friedsam, New York (1927–d. 1931)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Michael Friedsam Collection," November 15, 1932–April 9, 1933, no catalogue.

Adolfo Venturi. La galleria Crespi in Milano. Milan, 1900, pp. 289–90, ill., catalogues this painting as a late work of Rogier van der Weyden, noting that it was formerly attributed to Hugo van der goes; suggests it is related to the wing of a triptych in the Brussels Museum [Sforza Altarpiece, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts] that is attributed to Memling, but which Friedländer finds closer to Rogier.

Paul Lafond. Roger van der Weyden. Brussels, 1912, p. 102, ill., illustrates it as school of Rogier.

Marcel Nicolle. Catalogue des tableaux anciens des écoles italienne, espagnole, allemande, flamande et hollandaise composant la Galerie Crespi de Milan. Galerie Georges Petit, Paris. June 4, 1914, pp. 118–19, no. 96, ill., notes that the auction house was authorized by M. J. Friedländer to publish his opinion that the Rogier attribution is "absolutely correct".

Max J. Friedländer. Von Eyck bis Bruegel: Studien zur Geschichte der Niederländischen Malerei. Berlin, 1916, p. 175, lists it with the works of Rogier van der Weyden.

Martin Conway. The Van Eycks and Their Followers. London, 1921, pp. 142–43, calls it a work of good quality from the school of Rogier; suggests it may be by the same follower who painted the imitation of Rogier's "Medici Madonna" that was then in the Cook collection, Richmond [with Mr. and Mrs. H. Wetzlar, Amsterdam, in 1967, see Ref. Friedländer 1967, no. 122, pl. 126].

Goffredo J. Hoogewerff. Mededelingen van het Nederlands Historisch Instituut te Rome. Vol. 2, The Hague, 1922, p. 132, no. 11, ill., as by Rogier.

Willy Burger. Roger van der Weyden. Leipzig, 1923, pp. 54–57, 71, pl. 57, considers it the work of an imitator of Rogier painted in the last quarter of the 15th century.

Max J. Friedländer. Die altniederländische Malerei. Vol. 2, Rogier van der Weyden und der Meister von Flémalle. Berlin, 1924, p. 104, no. 40a, pl. 35, calls it an original of Rogier's from about 1460; notes that the theme of the child clasping the cross is repeated in similar paintings in the Johnson Collection, Philadelphia [ill. Ref. Sweeny 1972], and in the Traumann collection, Madrid [ill. Ref. Friedländer 1967, pl. 64, as in J. M. Orne collection, Madrid] ; observes that it has been overcleaned.

Max J. Friedländer in The Michael Friedsam Collection. [completed 1928], p. 122, calls it a badly injured work by Rogier from about 1460.

[Hippolyte] Fierens-Gevaert. Histoire de la peinture flamande des origines à la fin du XVe siècle. Vol. 2, Les continuateurs des Van Eyck. Paris, 1928, p. 70, pl. 61, ascribes it to Rogier and dates it about 1460.

Malcolm Vaughan. "Rogier van der Weydens in America." International Studio 90 (July 1928), pp. 45–46, ill., attributes it to Rogier after his return from Italy.

Jules Destrée. Roger de la Pasture—van der Weyden. Paris, 1930, vol. 1, p. 173, questions the attribution to Rogier and considers the symbolism of the Child grasping the Cross uncharacteristic.

Bryson Burroughs and Harry B. Wehle. "The Michael Friedsam Collection: Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27, section 2 (November 1932), p. 18, as by "Roger van der Weyden (?)".

Wolfgang Schöne. Dieric Bouts und seine Schule. Berlin, 1938, pp. 64–65, rejects the attribution of this picture to Rogier, suggesting instead that it may be by the artist who painted the "Exhumation of Saint Hubert" in the National Gallery, London.

Georges Hulin de Loo in Biographie nationale de Belgique. 1938, col. 238 [information from Ref. Campbell 1980], because the donor's name appears to be Paul, an uncommon name among Netherlanders, and because this picture has an Italian provenance, suggests that the donor may be Paolo de Porio, the Este agent in the Netherlands.

Millard Meiss. "Italian Primitives at Konopiste." Art Bulletin 28 (1946), p. 6 n. 43.

Harry B. Wehle and Margaretta Salinger. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Early Flemish, Dutch and German Paintings. New York, 1947, pp. 41–42, ill., place this picture in the mid-15th century and note that it can only be attributed to a follower of Rogier, perhaps an assistant in his workshop, due to the "listlessness of the personages, the haziness of the landscape, and the lack of strength in workmanship"; note that the motif of the Christ Child embracing the Cross is rare and that the head of the donor is badly damaged.

Theodor Musper. Untersuchungen zu Rogier van der Weyden und Jan van Eyck. Stuttgart, 1948, pp. 54, 59, lists it with the works of Rogier and dates it 1446.

Hermann Beenken. Rogier van der Weyden. Munich, 1951, p. 99, notes that the picture is in poor condition, but even the undamaged parts do not appear to be by Rogier.

Erwin Panofsky. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character. Cambridge, Mass., 1953, vol. 1, p. 482 n. 1 (to p. 298), includes it in a list of works he is unable to accept as Rogier's.

Erik Larsen. Les primitifs flamands au Musée Metropolitain de New York. Utrecht, 1960, pp. 55–56, 113.

Max J. Friedländer et al. Early Netherlandish Painting. Vol. 2, Rogier van der Weyden and the Master of Flémalle. New York, 1967, p. 68, no. 40a, pl. 64.

John G. Johnson Collection: Catalogue of Flemish and Dutch Paintings. Philadelphia, 1972, p. 95, notes that in the Johnson Collection's Rogierian composition,"Virgin and Child, Attending Angels," (inv. no. 321) the motif of the Child embracing the Cross is repeated from our picture, which she ascribes to Rogier.

Martin Davies. Rogier van der Weyden: An Essay, with a Critical Catalogue of Paintings Assigned to Him and to Robert Campin. London, 1972, p. 229.

Elisabeth Heller. Das altniederländische Stifterbild. PhD diss., Universität München. Munich, 1976, pp. 228, no. 318.

Federico Zeri. "Diari di lavaro 3 . . . La probabile origine lombarda di un dipinto della cerchia di Rogier van der Weyden." Paragone 37 (May 1986), pp. 14–16, fig. 14, publishes an early sixteenth-century Lombard panel of the Holy Family with the unusual motif of the Child grasping the Cross and suggets that the presence of the same motif in our picture, and in a rare fifteenth-century Flemish engraving, points to a lost prototype by Rogier; proposes that the idea for the Leonardesque "Madonna of the Yarnwinder" (Ernout Collection, Paris) may derive from the same source; suggests that our painting may have a Lombard provenance.

Walter Angelelli and Andrea G. De Marchi. Pittura dal Duecento al primo Cinquecento nelle fotografie di Girolamo Bombelli. Milan, 1991, p. 264, no. 560, ill.

From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Maryan W. Ainsworth and Keith Christiansen. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, p. 404, ill.

Lorne Campbell. National Gallery Catalogues: The Fifteenth Century Netherlandish Schools. London, 1998, p. 403.

Stefania Buganza, Pier Luigi Mulas, and Frédéric Elsig. "La corte di Ludovico il Moro e il nuovo corso dell'arte lombarda." Arte lombarda dai Visconti agli Sforza. Ed. Mauro Natale and Serena Romano. Exh. cat., Palazzo Reale. Milan, 2015, p. 307.

A 1/2 inch strip has been added to the right side of this panel.
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