Michelino da Besozzo (Michelino de Mulinari) (Italian, Lombard, active 13881450)
Tempera and gold on wood; 25 5/8 x 18 3/4 in. (65.1 x 47.6 cm)
Maitland F. Griggs Collection, Bequest of Maitland F. Griggs, 1943 (43.98.7)
Of the great painter-illuminators who dominated Lombard art in the early fifteenth century under the patronage of the Visconti, the most famous was Michelino da Besozzo. Little of his work survives, but the illuminations in a prayerbook now in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, demonstrate the grace and naturalism for which he was renowned. This is one of only two panel paintings known by him, and it seems to date from about 1430. Though damaged, it demonstrates in the expressions of the rejected suitors the humorous vein of his art that captivated contemporaries.