Garofalo (Benvenuto Tisi da Garofalo) (Italian, Ferrarese, 14811559)
Oil on canvas, transferred from wood; 13 x 25 3/4 in. (33 x 65.4 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.24)
This painting and another in the Museum's collection (17.190.23) formed part of the predella of an altarpiece in the Muzzarelli Chapel of the Church of Sant'Andrea, Ferrara, dedicated to the Augustinian Saint Nicholas of Tolentino. In the painting shown here, the mother and father of an infant who died before being baptized appeal for help to the saint, who revives the child. The idealized figures, with their carefully conceived gestures and harmonious arrangement, are indebted to central Italian art (Garofalo made two trips to Rome). At the same time, the light-filled landscape at the left of the scene shows Garofalo's affinities with Venetian painting and, especially, with Dosso Dossi.
In the second scene, Nicholas resuscitates two partridges that had been cooked for him during an illness. A third scene, showing a Mass of Saint Nicholas, is in the Pinacoteca, Ferrara. A large statue of the saint by Alfonso or Girolamo Lombardi was the center element.