An artist of incomparable fantasy and expressive power, Tura was court painter to the dukes of Ferrara. This scene depicts a weary Holy Family fleeing to Egypt after receiving a warning that King Herod was seeking to kill the infant Jesus. This roundel belongs to a series of three showing the early life of Christ. The series may come from the base (predella) of an altarpiece, possibly Tura’s impressive Roverella Altarpiece, the central panel of which is in the National Gallery, London. The nervous, calligraphic line and mystical-seeming landscape are typical of the artist.
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Title:The Flight into Egypt
Artist:Cosmè Tura (Cosimo di Domenico di Bonaventura) (Italian, Ferrara ca. 1433–1495 Ferrara)
Medium:Tempera on wood
Dimensions:Overall, with corners made up, 15 5/8 x 15 1/8 in. (39.7 x 38.4 cm); painted surface, diameter 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm)
Credit Line:The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
Since 1894 (Venturi), it has been established that together with two other circular paintings (tondi)—an Adoration of the Magi (Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge) and a Circumcision (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston)—The Met's panel formed part of the predella of an altarpiece. The initial idea that two other tondi showing events from the life of Saint Maurelius (Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara) belonged to the same ensemble, identifiable with one of two altarpieces by Tura formerly in the church of San Giorgio, Ferrara, has now been discounted. Longhi (1934) first proposed associating the three tondi with the second altarpiece from San Giorgio, commissioned in the mid-1470s for the chapel of the powerful Roverella family. The altarpiece, usually considered Tura’s masterpiece, was described by Girolamo Baruffaldi (1675–1755; Vite de' pittori e scultori ferraresi, 1844, vol. 1, p. 79), who saw it prior to its partial destruction in 1709 during the occupation of the city by Prussian troops. The central panel, showing the Madonna and Child with music-making angels, survives (National Gallery, London), as does the lunette with the Lamentation over the dead Christ (Musée du Louvre, Paris) and a lateral panel of Saints Paul and Maurelius with the kneeling figure of a member of the Roverella family (Cardinal Bartolomeo Roverella, archbishop of Ravenna, who died in 1476). Baruffaldi mentions scenes from the lives of Saint Bernard and Benedict in the predella but nothing about the three scenes of the infancy of Christ. According to Longhi’s reconstruction, the Met, Gardner, and Fogg panels were located beneath the Madonna and Child with music-making angels, while the scenes from the lives of Saints Bernard and Benedict, which do not survive, would have been located beneath the lateral panels. Longhi’s reconstruction has been much discussed. In the most recent literature, Campbell (1997) accepts the association and proposes an iconographic as well as cultural and political reading of the altarpiece, while Manca (2000) and Toffanello (2007) remain skeptical. Dunkerton (2002) gives technical reasons for questioning the association, noting that the underdrawing of the tondi differs in style from that of the Madonna and Child; she considers the tondi likely to be part of a piece of ecclesiastical furniture. Scholars are generally in agreement that the panels date from ca. 1474–80 and are thus contemporary with the Roverella altarpiece.
All three tondi have suffered. The blue sky of The Met's picture, which was cleaned in 1978, is largely restoration. Tura’s calligraphic drawing can easily be seen through the thin, transparent layer of paint. The panel has been thinned and cradled, and the corners are a later addition. The marbleizing extending from the tondo to the corners is not original but quite old.
Keith Christiansen 2011
?church of San Giorgio fuori le mura, Ferrara (1470s–1709); canonico Bignami, Casalmaggiore (in 1869, as by Dürer); William Graham, London (by 1875–d. 1885; inv., 1882, no. 354, as by Tura; on loan to South Kensington Museum [Victoria and Albert Museum], by 1882–at least 1884; on loan to Bethnal Green Museum, summer 1883, as by Mantegna; his estate sale, Christie's, London, April 8, 1886, no. 209, as by Tura, for £57.15 to Colnaghi); [Colnaghi, London, 1886; sold to Benson]; Robert H. and Evelyn Benson, London (1886–1927; cat., 1914, no. 55; sold to Duveen]; [Duveen, London and New York, 1927; sold for $100,000 to Bache]; Jules S. Bache, New York (1927–d. 1944; his estate, 1944–49; cats., 1929, unnumbered; 1937, no. 18; 1943, no. 17)
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Winter Exhibition," 1875, no. 183 (as by Mantegna, lent by W. Graham).
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Winter Exhibition," 1887, no. 195 (as by Tura, lent by R. H. Benson).
London. Burlington Fine Arts Club. "Pictures, Drawings & Photographs of Works of the School of Ferrara-Bologna," 1894, no. 6 (lent by R. H. Benson).
City of Manchester Art Gallery. "Loan Exhibition of the Benson Collection of Old Italian Masters," April 27–July 30, 1927, no. 17.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Bache Collection," June 16–September 30, 1943, no. 17.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art Treasures of the Metropolitan," November 7, 1952–September 7, 1953, no. 87.
Boston. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. "Cosmè Tura: Painting and Design in Renaissance Ferrara," January 30–May 12, 2002, no. 12.
Ferrara. Palazzo dei Diamanti and Palazzo Schifanoia. "Cosmè Tura e Francesco del Cossa: l'arte a Ferrara nell'età di Borso d'Este," September 23, 2007–January 6, 2008, no. 80.
Giovanni Battista Cavalcaselle. Unpublished manuscript. 1869 [Biblioteca Marciana, Venice, 2032/12273/III; see Refs. Gardner 1966 and Zeri and Gardner 1986], notes that he saw it in Casalmaggiore, where it was assigned to Durer; attributes it to Cosimo Tura or Marco Zoppo.
Catalogue of Pictures, Ancient and Modern, 35 Grosvenor Place. 1882, no. 354 [see letter of September 27, 1982 in archive file], as by Tura.
F[ritz von]. Harck. "Die Fresken im Palazzo Schifanoja in Ferrara." Jahrbuch der königlich preussischen Kunstsammlungen 5 (1884), p. 120 n. 40, as lent by Graham to the Bethnal Green Museum during the summer of 1883.
F[ritz von]. Harck. "Verzeichnis der Werke des Cosma Tura." Jahrbuch der königlich preussischen Kunstsammlungen 9 (1888), p. 36, no. 46, lists it under existing but not authenticated works; compares it with the two tondi with scenes from the life of Saint Maurelius in the Pinacoteca nazionale, Ferrara, and suggests that it may have formed part of the same altarpiece from San Giorgio fuori le mura, Ferrara.
Gustave Gruyer. "Cosimo Tura." L'art 53 (1892), p. 177 [repr. as "Cosimo Tura," n.p., n.d., p. 15; see Ref. Zeri and Gardner 1986], states that it probably formed part of the altarpiece from San Giorgio fuori le mura.
Ivan Lermolieff [Giovanni Morelli]. Kunstkritische Studien über italienische Malerei. Vol. 3, Die Galerie zu Berlin. Leipzig, 1893, p. 51 n. 2.
Introduction by R[obert]. H. Benson inExhibition of Pictures, Drawings & Photographs of Works of the School of Ferrara-Bologna, 1440–1540. Exh. cat., Burlington Fine Arts Club. London, 1894, p. xv, states that it formed part of the San Giorgio altarpiece, along with the two tondi in Ferrara, and two more recently discovered by Venturi: the Adoration of the Magi (now Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge), and the Circumcision (now Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston).
Adolfo Venturi. "L'arte emiliana (al Burlington Fine-Arts Club di Londra)." Archivio storico dell'arte 7 (1894), pp. 92, 94, pl. 6, believes that it formed part of the San Giorgio altarpiece, along with the two tondi in Ferrara and the two now in Cambridge and Boston.
Fritz [von] Harck. "Ausstellungen und Versteigerungen: Burlington Fine Arts Club, London." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 17 (1894), p. 313.
Adolfo Venturi. Tesori d'arte inediti di Roma. Rome, 1896, p. 3, under nos. VII–VIII.
Gustave Gruyer. L'art ferrarais à l'époque des princes d'Este. Paris, 1897, vol. 2, pp. 71, 79–80, states that it formed part of the San Giorgio altarpiece, along with the tondi in Ferrara, Cambridge, and Boston.
Emil Jacobsen. "Die Gemäldegalerie im Ateneo zu Ferrara." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 23 (1900), p. 360 n. 4, believes that it formed part of the San Giorgio altarpiece, along with the tondi in Ferrara, Boston, and Cambridge.
Paul Kristeller. Andrea Mantegna. London, 1901, p. 453, lists it under works attributed to Mantegna.
Georges Lafenestre and Eugène Richtenberger. Rome: les musées, les collections particulières, les palais. Paris, 1905, p. 292, quote from Ref. Venturi 1896.
Salomon Reinach. Répertoire de peintures du moyen age et de la renaissance (1280–1580). Vol. 1, Paris, 1905, p. 366, ill. (engraving), states that it is one of five tondi that formed the predella of the San Giorgio altarpiece.
Bernhard Berenson. North Italian Painters of the Renaissance. New York, 1907, p. 297.
Lionel Cust. "La collection de M. R.-H. Benson." Les arts 6 (October 1907), p. 22, states that it is one of a series of paintings from the church of San Giorgio fuori le mura in Ferrara.
Adolfo Venturi. "Le opere de' pittori ferraresi del '400 secondo il catalogo di Bernardo Berenson." L'arte 11 (1908), pp. 420–21, rejects the association of this panel and the Boston and Cambridge tondi with the San Giorgio altarpiece, noting that they differ in style from the two Ferrara tondi and are late works.
Richard Muther. Geschichte der Malerei. Leipzig, 1909, vol. 1, ill. p. 153.
Edmund G. Gardner. The Painters of the School of Ferrara. London, 1911, pp. 28, 208, calls it part of the San Giorgio altarpiece, along with the tondi in Ferrara, Boston, and Cambridge.
Morton H. Bernath. New York und Boston. Leipzig, 1912, p. 75, calls it one of five tondi, along with those in Boston and Cambridge, which comprised the predella of the San Giorgio altarpiece.
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. 2, pp. 230–31 n. 1, calls it a companion to the Boston and Cambridge tondi.
A[dolfo]. Venturi. "La pittura del Quattrocento." Storia dell'arte italiana. Vol. 7, part 3, Milan, 1914, p. 546, fig. 413, dates it after 1480, and suggests that with the Boston and Cambridge tondi it may have belonged to the same altarpiece as two panels depicting Saints Peter and John the Baptist (now Philadelphia Museum of Art).
Catalogue of Italian Pictures at 16, South Street, Park Lane, London and Buckhurst in Sussex collected by Robert and Evelyn Benson. London, 1914, p. 105, no. 55, ill. opp. p. 105, calls it part of the San Giorgio altarpiece, along with the Ferrara, Boston, and Cambridge tondi.
Paul Schubring. Cassoni: Truhen und Truhenbilder der italienischen Frührenaissance. Leipzig, 1915, text vol., pp. 151, 352, no. 562, states that, together with the two tondi in Boston and Cambridge, it was originally inset into a piece of church furniture, possibly a bastismal font; excludes the two tondi in Ferrara from this work.
Collection of Mediaeval and Renaissance Paintings. Cambridge, Mass., 1919, p. 190, under no. 37, accepts Venturi's [see Ref. 1908] and Schubring's [see Ref. 1915] exclusion of the two Ferrara tondi from the series to which the MMA, Boston, and Cambridge panels belong.
Frank E. Washburn Freund. "Die Sammlung Benson." Der Cicerone 19, no. 16 (1927), pp. 497–99, 502, ill. p. 495, calls it part of the San Giorgio altarpiece, along with the Ferrara, Boston, and Cambridge tondi.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of Jules S. Bache. New York, 1929, unpaginated, ill., calls it part of the San Giorgio altarpiece, along with the Ferrara, Boston, and Cambridge tondi.
August L. Mayer. "Die Sammlung Jules Bache in New-York." Pantheon 6 (December 1930), p. 542.
Lionello Venturi. Pitture italiane in America. Milan, 1931, unpaginated, pl. CCLXIII, states that, together with the Boston and Cambridge tondi, it probably decorated a cassone or other piece of furniture.
Philip Hendy. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Catalogue of the Exhibited Paintings and Drawings. Boston, 1931, p. 382, states that, with the Boston and Cambridge tondi, it may have formed the predella of an altarpiece or have decorated a piece of furniture.
Adolfo Venturi. North Italian Painting of the Quattrocento: Emilia. Florence, [1931?], pp. 39–40, dates the three tondi (MMA, Boston, and Cambridge) to the same period as the Roverella altarpiece.
Otto Härtzsch. Katalog der echten und fälschlich zugeschriebenen Werke des Cosimo Tura. PhD diss., Universität Hamburg. Hamburg, 1931, pp. 19–20, dates it between 1450 and 1460.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 581.
Lionello Venturi. Italian Paintings in America. Vol. 2, Fifteenth Century Renaissance. New York, 1933, unpaginated, pl. 347, and under pls. 345–46, states that, together with the Boston and Cambridge tondi, it probably decorated a cassone or other piece of furniture.
Pittura ferrarese del rinascimento. Exh. cat., location unknown. Ferrara, 1933, p. 60, under no. 63, groups it with the Boston and Cambridge tondi, calling them parts of an altarpiece.
Roberto Longhi. Officina ferrarese. Rome, 1934, pp. 37–39, 161 n. 48, pls. 44, 45 (reconstruction), states that the MMA, Boston, and Cambridge tondi formed the middle part of the predella of the Roverella altarpiece [a second altarpiece from San Giorgio fuori le mura, Ferrara] and that the stories from the lives of Saints Bernard and Benedict mentioned by Baruffaldi could have flanked these central elements.
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 500.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. under revision. New York, 1937, unpaginated, no. 18, ill.
[Georg] Gombosi inAllgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 33, Leipzig, 1939, pp. 481–82, considers Longhi's [see Ref. 1934] statement that it formed part of the Roverella altarpiece arbitrary.
Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941, unpaginated, no. 61, ill., dates it about 1470.
Sergio Ortolani. Cosmè Tura, Francesco del Cossa, Ercole de' Roberti. Milan, 1941, pp. 56, 67–68, pl. 36, calls it, along with the Boston and Cambridge tondi, part of the predella of a lost altarpiece, but rejects its connection with the Roverella altarpiece; dates it about 1475.
A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. rev. ed. New York, 1943, unpaginated, no. 17, ill.
Benedict Nicolson. The Painters of Ferrara. London, 1950, pp. 11, 18, considers the three tondi predella panels from a lost altarpiece; calls them late works, dating them after the Roverella altarpiece.
Martin Davies. The Earlier Italian Schools. London, 1951, p. 399, under no. 772, questions the connection of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece.
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. 225, no. 87, colorpl. 87, calls it one of five tondi that formed part of an altarpiece from San Giorgio fuori le mura.
Alberto Neppi. Cosme' Tura. Milan, 1952, pp. 65, 74–75, 136, erroneously as still in the Bache collection; accepts Longhi's [see Ref. 1934] reconstruction of the Roverella altarpiece and dates it about 1474.
Corrado Padovani. La critica d'arte e la pittura ferrarese. Rovigo, 1954, p. 406, accepts Longhi's [see Ref. 1934] association of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece.
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 97.
Roberto Longhi. Opere complete di Roberto Longhi. Vol. 5, Officina ferrarese: 1934. repr. 1968. Florence, 1956, pp. 25–26, 96 n. 48, figs. 64, 65, 69 (reconstruction), reprints text of Ref. 1934.
Stefano Bottari. Storia dell'arte italiana. Vol. 2, Il rinascimento (Parte I): l'arte del Quattrocento. Milan, 1956, pp. 409–10, fig. 558, accepts Longhi's [see Ref. 1934] reconstruction of the Roverella altarpiece and dates it about 1474.
Mario Salmi. Cosmè Tura. [Milan], , pp. 34–38, fig. 9 (reconstruction and perspectival scheme), pls. XXII, XXIII (reconstruction), accepts the association of the three tondi with the predella of the Roverella altarpiece, which he dates after 1474.
Eberhard Ruhmer. Tura: Paintings and Drawings. New York, 1958, pp. 41, 58 n. 102, p. 177, pl. 63, rejects the association of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece; dates them to the first half of the 1470s.
André Chastel. "Tura and the Secrets of Ferrara." Art News 57 (February 1959), pp. 41, 62, accepts the connection of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece.
Roberto Salvini and Leone Traverso. The Predella from the XIIIth to the XVIth Centuries. London, 1960, pp. 205–7, ill. (black and white and color), accept the three tondi as part of the predella of the Roverella altarpiece, which they date possibly 1474.
Martin Davies. The Earlier Italian Schools. 2nd ed., rev. London, 1961, pp. 513–14, under no. 772.
Piero Bianconi. Tutta la pittura di Cosmè Tura. Milan, 1963, pp. 29, 42, 47–48, pls. 72, 73 (detail), rejects the association of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece, assigning them to a later date; confuses the provenance of the three works.
André Chastel. Le grand atelier d'Italie, 1460–1500. [Paris], , p. 242, fig. 243 (reconstruction), states that the three tondi most probably formed part of the predella of the Roverella altarpiece, which he dates about 1472–75.
Eberhard Ruhmer inEncyclopedia of World Art. Vol. 14, New York, 1967, cols. 340, 343.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools. London, 1968, vol. 1, pp. 432–33; vol. 2, pl. 724, calls it the companion of the Boston and Cambridge tondi.
Enrico Guidoni and Angela Marino. "Cosmus Pictor: Il 'nuovo organo' di Ferrara: armonia, storia, e alchimia della creazione." Storia dell'arte 4 (1969), p. 410.
Elizabeth E. Gardner. "Dipinti rinascimentali del Metropolitan Museum nelle carte di G. B. Cavalcaselle." Saggi e memorie di storia dell'arte 8 (1972), p. 73, figs. 17, 18 (drawing by Cavalcaselle), 19 (photograph by G. Zaccaria), publishes a sketch after the painting made by Cavalcaselle [see Ref. 1869] when he saw the work in the collection of canonico Bignami [see Ref. Gardner 1966] in Casalmaggiore in 1869, and also a photograph from the same time.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 205, 275, 608.
Lino Moretti. G. B. Cavalcaselle: disegni da antichi maestri. Exh. cat., Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice. [Vicenza], 1973, p. 86, under no. 57, states that Cavalcaselle saw it in the Bignami collection; reproduces Cavalcaselle's drawing.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 1974, p. 264, questions the association of the three tondi to the Roverella altarpiece.
Franco Renzo Pesenti inAn Illustrated Inventory of Famous Dismembered Works of Art: European Painting. Paris, 1974, pp. 24, 42–43, fig. 5, reports Longhi's [see Ref. 1934] reconstruction of the Roverella altarpiece.
Rosemarie Molajoli. L'opera completa di Cosmè Tura e i grandi pittori ferraresi del suo tempo: Francesco Cossa e Ercole de' Roberti. Milan, 1974, pp. 85–86, 88, no. 14, ill. p. 86 and colorpl. XIX, tentatively accepts the connection of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece.
Everett Fahy. "Italian Paintings at Fenway Court and Elsewhere." Connoisseur 198 (May 1978), pp. 37, 39, fig. 14, questions the association of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece.
Claudie Ressort inRetables italiens du XIIIe au XVe siècle. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 1978, p. 45, ill. p. 46 (reconstruction), tentatively accepts the connection of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece.
Eugenio Riccòmini. Cosmè Tura. Milan, 1980, p. 5, ill. [first ed., 1963; see Ref. Manca 2000].
Amalia Mezzetti and Emanuele Mattaliano. Indice ragionato delle "Vite de' pittori e scultori ferraresi" di Gerolamo Baruffaldi. Vol. 2, Ferrara, 1981, p. 65.
Keith Christiansen. "Early Renaissance Narrative Painting in Italy." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 41 (Fall 1983), pp. 36, 38, fig. 33 (color).
C[reighton]. E. Gilbert inDizionario biografico degli italiani. Vol. 30, Rome, 1984, p. 28.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, North Italian School. New York, 1986, pp. 65–67, pl. 18, tentatively support the association of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece, dating both about 1474.
Colin Simpson. Artful Partners: Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen. New York, 1986, pp. 212, 298 [excerpt published in Connoisseur 216 (October 1986), p. 128; British ed., "The Partnership: The Secret Association of Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen," London, 1987], states that Bache bought it for $150,000 on the recommendation of Berenson.
Andrea Bacchi inLa pittura in Italia: il Quattrocento. revised and expanded ed. [Milan], 1987, vol. 2, pp. 761–62, finds the argument connecting the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece convincing.
Joseph Manca inInternational Dictionary of Art and Artists. Ed. James Vinson. Vol. 2, Art. Detroit, 1990, p. 145, doubts that the three tondi formed part of the Roverella altarpiece.
Joseph Manca. "A Note on Cosmè Tura as Portraitist." Antichità viva 30, no. 3 (1991), p. 18, fig. 6.
Stephen J. Campbell. "Cosmè Tura: Art and Social Identity in Fifteenth Century Ferrara." PhD diss., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., 1994, p. 152, ill. [see Ref. Manca 2000].
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 111, ill. p. 112.
Kristen Lippincott inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 31, New York, 1996, p. 431, states that although the three tondi date from the same period as the Roverella altarpiece, they probably did not form part of it.
Stephen J. Campbell. Cosmè Tura of Ferrara: Style, Politics and the Renaissance City, 1450–1495. New Haven, 1997, pp. 107, 183 n. 50, pl. 87 (reconstruction), colorpl. 88, supports the connection of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece, based on stylistic and iconographic similarities.
Monica Molteni. Cosmè Tura. Milan, 1999, pp. 112, 119, 121, 126–27, 170, 232, ill. pp. 110 (reconstruction), 124 (color), supports the inclusion of the three tondi in the Roveralla altarpiece, noting that their perspective and their iconography are consistent with that of the main panels.
Joseph Manca. Cosmè Tura: The Life and Art of a Painter in Estense Ferrara. Oxford, 2000, pp. 72, 96–98, 103, 108–9, 116, 118, 120, 141–43, 147, 150, no. 26, fig. 26, colorpl. X, discusses the arguments for and against the association of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece, concluding that, although it is not impossible that they formed part of that altarpiece, they probably "belonged to some other complex of unknown site and composition"; erroneously claims that Gardner [see Ref. 1911] was the first to connect the tondi with the Roverella altarpiece; states that they probably date from the 1470s.
Oliver Garnett. "The Letters and Collection of William Graham—Pre-Raphaelite Patron and Pre-Raphael Collector." Walpole Society 62 (2000), pp. 153, 184, 335, no. d322, fig. 207.
Stephen J. Campbell. Cosmè Tura: Painting and Design in Renaissance Ferrara. Ed. Alan Chong. Exh. cat., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 2002, pp. 21, 217, 219, 223, 225 n. 6, pp. 227, 229, 232, 237, no. 12, fig. 95 (reconstruction), ill. p. 231 (color), believes an anti-Jewish iconographical program links the three tondi to the Roverella altarpiece.
Jill Dunkerton in Stephen J. Campbell. Cosmè Tura: Painting and Design in Renaissance Ferrara. Ed. Alan Chong. Exh. cat., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 2002, pp. 141–42, gives three technical reasons for doubting the association of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece: the vertical grain of the wood, the differences in the underdrawing from that of the main panels, and the more subdued palette; believes the tondi are more likely to have formed parts of shutters or doors of some piece of church furniture.
Alan Chong in Stephen J. Campbell. Cosmè Tura: Painting and Design in Renaissance Ferrara. Ed. Alan Chong. Exh. cat., Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 2002, pp. 183, 269, 272, figs. 111 (infrared reflectogram), 112, discusses technical details of the three tondi; believes they probably formed part of the predella of the Roverella altarpiece.
Joseph Manca inItalian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century. Washington, 2003, pp. 663, 665 n. 4, dates the three tondi to the mid-1470s and rejects the connection with the Roverella altarpiece.
Meryle Secrest. Duveen: A Life in Art. New York, 2004, p. 495.
Marcello Toffanello inCosmè Tura e Francesco del Cossa: l'arte a Ferrara nell'età di Borso d'Este. Ed. Mauro Natale. Exh. cat., Palazzo dei Diamanti and Palazzo Schifanoia. Ferrara, 2007, pp. 340, 342–43, 350, no. 80, ill. (color), discusses the arguments for and against associating the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece; agrees that the tondi date from the same period as the altarpiece (1474–80), but is unconvinced that they formed part of that work.
John Marciari. Italian, Spanish, and French Paintings Before 1850 in the San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, 2015, pp. 99, 102 n. 21, fig. 16.1 (color, altarpiece reconstruction), doubts the association of the three tondi with the Roverella altarpiece.
Mauro Natale inPalazzo Colonna, appartamento principessa Isabelle: Catalogo dei dipinti. Ed. Mauro Natale et al. Rome, 2019, p. 349.
The frame is twentieth-century, though based on Renaissance models, made in the workshop of Ferruccio Vannoni (1881–1965), who was extensively employed by the Duveen firm. (For Vannoni, see Karen Serres, “Duveen’s Italian Framemaker, Ferruccio Vannoni,” Burlington Magazine 159 (May 2017), pp. 366–74.)
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