Madonna and Child

Simone Martini (Italian, Siena, active by 1315–died 1344 Avignon)

ca. 1326
Tempera on wood, gold ground
Overall 23 1/8 x 15 1/2 in. (58.7 x 39.4 cm); painted surface 22 1/2 x 15 1/8 in. (57.2 x 38.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
  • Description

    This beautifully preserved panel, together with a related work depicting Saint Ansanus in the Robert Lehman Collection (1975.1.13) and a third panel of Saint Andrew (41.100.23), formed part of an altarpiece commissioned by the civic government of Siena. The format of the polyptych was highly unusual in that the central image, the Madonna and Child, was the same size as the flanking panels, allowing the entire altarpiece, which was intended to be portable, to be easily folded and moved. In the fifteenth century, Simone's panels were incorporated as the central elements of a larger altarpiece in the principal chapel of the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena's town hall. Like the other two panels from this polyptych in the Museum's collection, the "Madonna and Child" survives with its original frame intact.

  • Provenance

    Bishop Alessandro Toto, Colle Val d'Elsa (according to F. M. Perkins, "Il cosidetto originale della 'Madonna del Popolo," Rassegna d'arte senese, I, 1905, p. 129); Achille Cavagnini, Siena; C. Fairfax Murray, 1904; A. Imbert, Rome, 1906; Richard Norton, Boston; Norton sale, Christie's London, May 26, 1919, lot 150 (as Memmi; bought Stover); R. Langton Douglas, London; acquired by Philip Lehman in or shortly before 1920.

  • See also