Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Madonna and Child

Benvenuto di Giovanni (Italian, Siena 1436–after 1518 Siena)
ca. 1470
Tempera on wood, gold ground
Overall 27 3/4 x 18 1/8 in. (70.5 x 46 cm); painted surface 24 1/4 x 14 3/4 in. (61.6 x 37.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 956
This resplendent and well-preserved panel portrays the Virgin handing the Christ Child a pomegranate, a symbol of the Resurrection. The painting may once have belonged by Pope Pius II Piccolomini, whose coat of arms is said to have formerly appeared on the back of the panel. The acorns, clustered beneath the frame’s scroll console, may be a heraldic allusion to Pius II. The important tabernacle frame may be contemporary and original to the panel. The candelabra-decorated pilasters are characteristic of Sienese frames of the period.
Inscription: Inscribed (on Madonna's halo): AVE.GRATIA.PLENA.DOM
Ernest Odiot, Paris (Catalogue des objets d'arte de M. Ernest Odiot, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 26-27, 1889, p. 30, no. 15, as 14th century Sienese school); M. Chabrières-Arlès, Oullin, nr. Lyon; Duveen Brothers, New York. Acquired by Philip Lehman in 1916.
Grassi-Malevolti. Arme delle famiglie nobili di Siena che al presente si truovano, e godono, o possono godere gli onori del supremo eccelso maestrato. Siena, 1706, Pl. 9.

Bernhard Berenson. The Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance. reprinted 1903. New York, 1897, p. 134.

Bernhard Berenson. The Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance. 2nd ed., rev. and enl. New York, 1909, p. 148.

Edward Hutton, ed. A New History of Painting in Italy from the II to the XVI Century. By [Joseph Archer] Crowe and [Giovanni Battista] Cavalcaselle. Vol. 3, The Florentine, Umbrian, and Sienese Schools of the XV Century. London, 1909, p. 118.

Duveen Brothers. Loan Exhibition of Important Early Italian Paintings at the Galleries of Duveen Brothers. Exh. cat., New York, 1924, no. 41.

Robert Lehman. The Philip Lehman Collection, New York: Paintings. Paris, 1928, Pl. 54 .

Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 77.

George Harold Edgell. A History of Sienese Painting. New York, 1932, p. 253, fig. 375.

Raimond van Marle. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. Vol. 16, The Hague, 1937, p. 396.

Paintings and Bronzes from the Collection of Mr. Robert Lehman. Exh. cat., Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Colorado Springs, 1951, Pl. 11 .

The Lehman Collection. Exh. cat., Cincinnati, 1959, no. 55.

Gertrude Coor. Neroccio de' Landi, 1447–1500. Princeton, 1961, p. 67 n. 223.

Burton B. Fredericksen and Darrell D. Davisson. Benvenuto di Giovanni, Girolamo di Benvenuto, Their Altarpiece in the J. Paul Getty Museum and a Summary Catalogue of Their Paintings in America. Malibu, CA, 1966, pp. 27, 35, no. 25.

Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools. Vol. 1, London, 1968, p. 40.

George Szabó. The Robert Lehman Collection: A Guide. New York, 1975, p. 54, pl. 17.

Maria Cristina Bandera. "Variazioni ai cataloghi berensoniani di Benvenuto di Giovanni." Scritti di storia dell’arte in onore di Ugo Procacci. Milan, 1977, p. 312.

John Pope-Hennessy assisted by Laurence B. Kanter in The Robert Lehman Collection. Vol. 1, Italian Paintings. New York, 1987, pp. 162-163, no. 69.

Keith Christiansen in Painting in Renaissance Siena: 1420–1500. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1988, no. 60.

William Hood. "Sienese Quattrocento Painting. New York, Metropolitan Museum." The Burlington Magazine, 131 (1989), pp. 242-243. Fig. 70.

Timothy J. Newbery and Laurence B. Kanter in Italian Renaissance Frames. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1990, pp. 40-41, cat. no. 9.

Philippe de Montebello. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 1994, p. 348.

Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 62.

Maria Cristina Bandera. Benvenuto di Giovanni. Milan, 1999, pp. 84-86, 222-223, no. 21.

Timothy J. Newbery. The Robert Lehman Collection: Frames. Vol. 13, New York, 2007, pp. 26-27, no. 17.

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