Virgin and Child

Barnaba da Modena (Italian (Genoese), active in 1361–1383)


Panel: 100.3 x 62.8 cm (39 1/2 x 24 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera on panel

On View

I. W. Colburn Chapel Gallery (Gallery 254A)





The decorative details in this painting, particularly the dense striations in the Virgin’s mantle and the minute patterns punched into the gold background, serve to set off the Virgin’s severe gaze. The surviving framing edges indicate that this panel was initially the center section of a polyptych. Later, the picture seems to have received special veneration; repairs to the gilt haloes of both the Virgin and the Christ Child probably cover holes where silver crowns had been attached to the painting’s surface.


By 1914, Robert Langton Douglas (b. 1864 - d. 1951), London [see note 1]. 1915, Philip J. Gentner (b. 1872), Worcester, MA; 1915, sold by Gentner to Mrs. W. Scott Fitz (Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth) (b. 1847 - d. 1927), Boston; 1915, gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 27, 1915)

[1] In a letter to James S. Plaut of the MFA (October 22, 1936), Robert Langton Douglas writes that while he cannot recall specifically from what collection he had bought the painting, he thinks it may have come from the Fuller Maitland collection. William Fuller Maitland (b. 1844 - d. 1932) of Stansted Hall, Essex, did sell other Italian paintings from his collection to Langton Douglas. However, this painting is not listed in the 1872 catalogue of pictures at Stansted Hall, nor has Langton Douglas's information been otherwise corroborated.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz