Virgin and Child with Saint Jerome

about 1475–80


Dimensions

52.7 x 39 cm (20 3/4 x 15 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

20.431

Medium or Technique

Oil on panel

On View

Italian Renaissance Gallery E (Gallery 219)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Paintings

This early work displays the hallmarks of Pintoricchio’s style-serene figures, a remarkable play of light on surfaces, and the skillful rendering of such minute details as the hair of the figures here. Pintoricchio’s nickname, which means “little painter,” referred to his small size and not to his artistic reputation. During his lifetime he was considered one the outstanding painters in Italy and worked for popes and their families. This painting is in excellent condition except for the Virgin’s mantle, which has darkened from its original brilliant blue.

Provenance

About 1907, Bacchettoni collection, Rome (?) [see note 1]. 1917, Piero Tolentino; July 1917, sold by Tolentino to Duveen Brothers, New York (stock no. X-61); March 9, 1920, sold by Duveen to Mrs. W. Scott Fitz (Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth) (b. 1847 - d. 1929), Boston [see note 2]; 1920, gift of Mrs. Fitz to the MFA. (Accession date: April 1, 1920) NOTES: [1] According to a letter from A. E. M. Paff to Arthur Fairbanks of the MFA (April 24, 1920), the painting had been owned by Signor Bacchettoni, the mayor of San Gemini, near Narni, who was then living in Rome. In his letter, he refers to Mr. Forbes (probably MFA trustee Edward Waldo Forbes) having seen the picture 13 years earlier. Paff had been told that the painting may have come from the Vatican through a family member who was a cardinal, but "this, however, is only supposition." [2] Attributed at the time to Fiorenzo di Lorenzo.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz