Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

In the late Middle Ages, Christian spirituality increasingly focused on the salvation of individual souls. Devotional practice was no longer confined to the liturgy, but was supplemented with private prayer. Individuals acquired their own prayer books, and the growing aristocratic and bourgeois classes commissioned small devotional works, like the portable ivory shown here. The invention of printmaking led to the proliferation of sacred images, some inspired by earlier manuscript illuminations. Other objects, like the bronze plaque here, were in turn modeled after prints.

[1946.56, 1957.217, 1962.282, BR65.10]

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Circle of Cenni di Pepo, called Cimabue, Italian (1240 - 1302)
The Virgin and Child
Work Type
c. 1295
Creation Place: Europe, Italy, Tuscany, Florence
Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2440, Medieval Art, Medieval Art
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Physical Descriptions
Tempera on panel
23.81 x 17.46 cm (9 3/8 x 6 7/8 in.)
A. Kingsley Porter; to Lucy Wallace Porter (his wife), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1962.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Lucy Wallace Porter
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1972), p. 217 [as unknown Florence 13th century]

Edward B. Garrison, Italian Romanesque Panel Painting: An Illustrated Index, Leo S. Olschki (Florence, 1972), p. 55, cat. no. 78, repr.

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990)

Exhibition History

32Q: 2440 Medieval, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at