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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saint Catherine of Siena Beseeching Christ to Resuscitate Her Mother

Giovanni di Paolo (Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia) (Italian, Siena 1398–1482 Siena)
ca. 1447–65
Tempera and gold on wood
11 x 8 5/8 in. (27.9 x 21.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 956
This panel along with another in the Lehman Collection (1975.1.34) belong to a narrative cycle depicting scenes from the life of Catherine of Siena, a fourteenth-century Dominican saint, who was a minister to the poor as well as a mystic. The panels, based on a biography of Saint Catherine written in 1385 by her confessor Raymond of Capua, represent the first complete pictorial cycle of her life. This series, which also includes three panels in European Paintings (1997.117.2; 1997.117.3, 32.100.95), may have been produced following Saint Catherine’s canonization in 1461 and added as a predella (base) to a preexisting altarpiece. Two additional panels portraying standing male figures in the Lehman Collection (1975.1.55, 1975.1.56), also belonged to the same complex, which may have been commissioned by the guild of the Pizzicaiuoli (purveyors of dry goods) in 1447 for their new chapel in the church of the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena.
Additional panels that are conjecturally associated with the Pizzicaiuoli altarpiece are: the Purification of the Virgin (Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena), Saint Catherine Invested with the Dominican Habit (Cleveland Museum of Art), Saint Catherine and the Beggar (Cleveland Museum of Art), Saint Catherine Dictating Her Dialogues to Raymond of Capua (Detroit Institute of Arts), Saint Catherine before a Pope (Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation), Death of Saint Catherine (private collection), Crucifixion (Rijksmuseum Het Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, on deposit at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), and pilaster figures representing Saint Galganus and Blessed Peter of Siena(?) (both Aartbischoppilijk Museum, Utrecht).
Spedale della Scala, Siena. Johann Anton Ramboux, Cologne (Catalogue des collections d'objets d'arts de la succession de M. Jean Ant. Ramboux, conservateur du Musée de la Ville de Cologne, Heberle, Cologne, May 23, 1867, p. 23, no. 117); Professor A. Müller, Düsseldorf; Fürstliches Hohenzollern'sches Museum, Sigmaringen (F. A. Lerner, Verzeichnis der Gemälde, 1871, pp. 53-55, no. 186; ibid., 1883, pp. 58ff., no. 186); F. Kleinberger & Co., New York. Acquired by Philip Lehman after 1928 and before 1932.
J[ohann]. A[nton]. Ramboux. Katalog der Gemälde alter italienischer Meister (1221–1640) in der Sammlung des Conservator J. A. Ramboux. Cologne, 1862, no. 117.

Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 246.

George Kaftal. St Catherine in Tuscan Painting. Oxford, 1949, pp. 84-86.

George Kaftal. Iconography of the Saints in Tuscan Painting. Florence, 1952, pp. 236, 239, 241, Fig. 267.

Enzo Carli. La pittura senese. Milan, 1955, p. 224.

St. John Gore. The Art of Painting in Florence & Siena from 1250 to 1500. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. London, 1965, p. 55, under cat. no. 98.

Elizabeth Ourusoff de Fernandez-Gimenez. "The Life of St. Catherine of Siena." Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, 54 (1967), pp. 103, 108-110.

Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools. Vol. 1, London, 1968, p. 178.

Henk van Os. "Giovanni di Paolo's Pizzicaiuoli Altarpiece." The Art Bulletin (1971), pp. 289-302, no. 6.

Katharine Baetjer. Giovanni di Paolo: Paintings. Exh. cat., New York, 1973, no. 8.

Elizabeth Ourusoff De Fernandez-Gimenez in "European Paintings Before 1500." The Cleveland Museum of Art: Catalogue of Paintings. Part 1, Cleveland, 1974, pp. 105-110.

George Szabó. The Robert Lehman Collection: A Guide. New York, 1975, pp. 13-14, Pl. 21.

Piero Torriti. La Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena: I dipinti dal XII al XV secolo. Genoa, 1977, p. 316.

Giulietta Chelazzi Dini in Il gotico a Siena: miniature pitture oreficerie oggetti d'arte. Exh. cat., Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. Florence, 1982, pp. 358-359.

Daniela Gallavotti Cavallero. Lo spedale di Santa Maria della Scala in Siena. Siena, 1985, pp. 192, 196-197, 262 n. 247, 270.

Federico Zeri and Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Sienese and Central Italian Schools. Vol. 3, New York, 1986, pp. 24-27.

John Pope-Hennessy assisted by Laurence B. Kanter in The Robert Lehman Collection. Vol. 1, Italian Paintings. New York, 1987, pp. 128-132, no. 52.

Keith Christiansen in Painting in Renaissance Siena: 1420–1500. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1988, no. 38f.

John Pope-Hennessy. "Giovanni di Paolo." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 46 (Fall 1988), pp. 23-29, no. 34.

Lidia Bianchi and Diega Giunta. Iconografia di S. Caterina da Siena. Rome, 1988, p. 255.

Nora W. Desloge and Laura Meyer. "Italian Paintings and Sculpture." Bulletin of the St. Louis Art Museum, 19 (1988), p. 60 n. 30.

Lillian Blauwkuip in The Early Sienese Paintings in Holland. Ed. H. W. van Os et al. Florence, 1989, pp. 73-74, under cat. no. 15.

Keith Christiansen. "Notes on 'Painting in Renaissance Siena'." Burlington Magazine, 132 (March 1990), pp. 210-211.

Miklós Boskovits. Early Italian Painting, 1290-1470. London, 1990, Cat. no. 17, fig. 6f.

Henk van Os. Sienese Altarpieces, 1215-1460: Form, Content, Function. Vol. 2, Groningen, 1990, pp. 122, 124-125.

Gaudenz Freuler. "Künder der wunderbaren Ding": Frühe italienische Malerei aus Sammlungen in der Schweiz und in Liechtenstein. Exh. cat., Stiftung Thyssen-Bornemisza. Lugano, 1991, pp. 94, 96-98, under cat. no. 31.

Christoph Merzenich in Lust und Verlust. Exh. cat., Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. Cologne, 1995, pp. 305, 311.

Alan Chong and Roland Krischel in Lust und Verlust. Exh. cat., Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. Cologne, 1995, pp. 586-587, under cat. nos. 202a-c.

Andrew Ladis. "Sources and Resources: The Lost Sketchbooks of Giovanni di Paolo." The Craft of Art: Originality and Industry in the Italian Renaissance and Baroque Workshop. Ed. Andrew Ladis and Carolyn Wood. Athens, Ga., 1995, pp. 69, 85 n. 31.

Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 54.

Frank Günter Zehnder. "Corpus-Band zu Kölner Gemäldesammlungen 1800-1860." Lust und Verlust. Cologne, 1995, pp. 537, 559-561.

Janneke Johanna Anje Panders. The Underdrawing of Giovanni di Paolo: Characteristics and Development. Berlin, 1997, p. 23.

Roland Krischel Susanne Blocker. Lust und Verlust II. Corpus-Band zu Kölner Gemäldesammlungen 1800-1860. Vol. 2, Cologne, 1998, p. 560, no. 117.

Miklós Boskovits in Italian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century. Washington, 2003, p. 324.

Victor M. Schmidt. Painted Piety: Panel Paintings for Personal Devotion in Tuscany, 1250–1400. Florence, 2005, p. 94.

Gerald Parsons. The Cult of Saint Catherine of Siena: A Study in Civil Religion. Burlington, 2008, pp. 10, 27, 30.

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