Andrea Mantegna (Italian, 1430/31–1506)
Tempera on canvas, transferred from wood
Overall 15 3/4 x 21 7/8 in. (40 x 55.6 cm); painted surface 14 7/8 x 21 in. (37.8 x 53.3 cm)
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1932 (32.130.2)
Mantegna, one of the prodigies of Italian painting, had already established his reputation by the age of eighteen. This work must have been painted when he was in his early twenties, and it already shows the painter's astonishing descriptive gifts fully developed. It may have been commissioned by Borso d'Este, duke of Ferrara, and its style seems to be a response to the ideas of Borso's court humanists, who admired detailed description. Although slightly cut down on the right side, and transferred from wood to canvas, the painting is in excellent condition.