Goddess of Chaste Love

Francesco di Giorgio Martini (Italian, Siena 1439–1501 Siena)

Tempera and gold on wood
15 1/2 x 17 1/4 in. (39.4 x 43.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Marquand Fund, 1920
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    This is a fragment from a cassone panel representing the Triumph of Chastity, here meaning fidelity in marriage, a common subject for nuptial chests. She is in her triumphant cart accompanied by virtuous women.

  • Catalogue Entry


  • Provenance

    Alphonse Kann, Paris (by 1914–17; sold to Duveen); [Duveen, Paris and New York, 1917–20; sold to MMA]

  • Exhibition History

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painting in Renaissance Siena: 1420–1500," December 20, 1988–March 19, 1989, no. 64.

  • References

    F. Mason Perkins. "Dipinti senesi sconosciuti o inediti." Rassegna d'arte 14 (1914), pp. 102–3, ill. p. 101, as "Un trionfo," by Francesco di Giorgio, in the Kann collection, Paris; identifies it as a fragment of a cassone.

    Paul Schubring. Cassoni: Truhen und Truhenbilder der italienischen Frührenaissance. Leipzig, 1915, text vol., pp. 135, 328, no. 463, as in the Kann collection, Paris; tentatively identifies the subject as the triumph of Beatrice.

    Paul Schubring in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 12, Leipzig, 1916, p. 304, as "ein Triumphzug," in the Kann collection, Paris.

    B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "Two Sienese Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (February 1921), pp. 28–29, rejects Schubring's [see Ref. 1915] tentative identification of the subject as the triumph of Beatrice.

    Arthur McComb. "A Cassone-Panel by Francesco di Giorgio." Art in America 11 (February 1923), p. 107.

    Arthur McComb. "The Life and Works of Francesco di Giorgio." Art Studies 2 (1924), pp. 21, 25, fig. 25, identifies the subject as the story of Diana and Actaeon; relates it to two cassone panels in the Museo Stibbert, Florence.

    Helen Comstock. "Francesco di Giorgio as Painter." International Studio 89 (April 1928), pp. 34, 36, ill., finds McComb's [see Ref. 1924] identification of the subject as the story of Diana and Actaeon convincing.

    Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 202, as "Triumph of Diana".

    Selwyn Brinton. Francesco di Giorgio Martini of Siena. 1, London, 1934, p. 110, calls it "A Triumph of Beatrice" but mentions McComb's [see Ref. 1924] identification of the subject as the story of Diana and Actaeon.

    Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 174.

    Raimond van Marle. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. 16, The Hague, 1937, p. 256.

    Erwin Panofsky. Letter to Margaretta Salinger. March 26, 1941, suggests that it may be Minerva who is depicted, rather than Diana.

    Allen Stuart Weller. Francesco di Giorgio, 1439–1501. Chicago, 1943, pp. 126–27, fig. 43, finds it impossible to identify the subject; suggests that it may be the left-hand panel of three separate panels from a cassone.

    Eugenio Battisti. "Due codici miniati del Quattrocento." Commentari 6 (January–March 1955), p. 24.

    Gertrude Coor. Neroccio de' Landi, 1447–1500. Princeton, 1961, p. 30, relates the composition to that of Neroccio's "Cleopatra's Visit to Mark Antony" (North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh).

    Giovanni Carandente. I trionfi nel primo rinascimento. [Naples], 1963, pp. 60, 68, 131 n. 157, fig. 60, identifies the subject as the Triumph of Beatrice.

    Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools. London, 1968, vol. 1, p. 140.

    Burton B. Fredericksen. The Cassone Paintings of Francesco di Giorgio. Malibu, 1969, pp. 30–32, fig. 20, accepts Zeri's suggestion that the fragment in the Tosatti collection comes from the same cassone panel as this one; discusses the relationship of these fragments to the panels in the Museo Stibbert; attributes them all to the workshop of Francesco di Giorgio, dating them 1468–70.

    Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 74, 473, 606, as "Triumph of Minerva?".

    John Pope-Hennessy and Keith Christiansen. "Secular Painting in 15th-Century Tuscany: Birth Trays, Cassone Panels, and Portraits." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 38 (Summer 1980), pp. 17, 50–51, fig. 43 (color), attribute it to Francesco di Giorgio's workshop.

    Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sienese and Central Italian Schools. New York, 1980, pp. 10–12, pl. 64, date it about 1470; identify a work in the Tosatti collection, Genoa, as another fragment from the same cassone panel as this one, and state that the complete composition can be deduced by comparison with two similar cassone panels by Francesco di Giorgio, one in the Carminati collection, Milan, and one on the art market, Paris and London, in 1972 (later in a private collection, Crans-sur Sierre); discuss the iconography of all four pieces and identify the subject as the contest between the opposing forces of carnal and spiritual love.

    Ralph Toledano. Francesco di Giorgio Martini: pittore e scultore. Milan, 1987, pp. 9–10, 73–76, 78, no. 23, ill. pp. 21 (detail), 73 (color, overall), 74 (detail), dates it about 1470–71, and notes that it displays the influence of Neroccio de' Landi.

    Laurence B. Kanter in Painting in Renaissance Siena: 1420–1500. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1988, pp. 317–19, no. 64, ill., dates it about 1468; discusses its relationship to other similar cassone panels by Francesco di Giorgio.

    Keith Christiansen. "Notes on 'Painting in Renaissance Siena'." Burlington Magazine 132 (March 1990), p. 212, suggests that the cassone front to which this fragment belonged may have been decorated with figures in relief similar to those on a cassone front by Liberale da Verona in the Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona.

    Luciano Bellosi et al. in Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena, 1450–1500. Exh. cat., chiesa di Sant'Agostino, Siena. Milan, 1993, pp. 29, 62, 64, 290, fig. 1, suggest that it was painted by Francesco di Giorgio and a member of his workshop, calling this painter "Fiduciario di Francesco".

  • Notes

    This fragment is from the left end of a cassone panel; the fragment from the right end is in the Egidio Tosatti collection in Genoa, and the central section has not been identified.

    Related cassone panels with similar subjects by Francesco di Giorgio or his workshop are in the Museo Stibbert, Florence (nos. 317, 4098, 12922); the Carminati collection, Milan; and a private collection, Crans-sur-Sierre.

  • See also