- Gallery Text
The Virgin gesturing to Christ, who gives a sign of blessing, is a variation of a Byzantine type of Madonna known as Hodegetria or “She who points the Way.” Though paintings like this are thought to be based on earlier models, this one shows signs of the artist’s inclinations: lines are incised into its surface, outlining the figures and showing adjustments that were made. Christ’s body, for example, is painted slightly below the incised line, while the sides of the Virgin’s cloak are far narrower than outlined. The painting also shows the artist’s technique of layering tempera to indicate form and mass — white is placed over the flesh color on the Virgin’s hand to create a highlight, while a darker coloris painted around her chin to suggest shadow. Figures like this one of the Madonna painted on panel were often carried in religious processions and venerated as protection against war or plague.
- Identification and Creation
Level 2, Room 2440, Medieval Art, Medieval Art
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- Physical Descriptions
- Tempera and silver on panel, transferred to new support
- 108.6 x 47.6 cm (42 3/4 x 18 3/4 in.)
frame: 112.5 x 50 x 5.5 cm (44 5/16 x 19 11/16 x 2 3/16 in.)
- Stroganoff Collection, Rome; [Durlacher, New York, (? - December 1923)] sold; to John Nicholas Brown, Providence, December 17, 1923, loaned; to Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, loaned; to Fogg Art Museum, 1926; John Nicholas Brown, gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1969.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of John Nicholas Brown
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- European and American Art
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- Publication History
Raimond Van Marle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, M. Nijhoff Publishers (The Hague, 1923-1938), vol. 5, p. 436, fig. 257
Edward B. Garrison, Addenda ad indicem II, Bollettino d'Arte (Rome, October - December 1951), vol. 36, pp. 293-304, pp. 296-297, repr. p. 296 as fig. 9
Andrea Kirsh, "Worlds Below: An Investigation of Infrared Reflectography" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, April 1973), Unpublished, pp. 1-25 passim
Everett Fahy, "Italian Painting Before 1500", Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp. 377-388, p. 378, 380, repr. p. 378 as fig. 2
Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 157, p. 139, 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)
Elizabeth Bradford Smith, Medieval Art in America: Patterns of Collecting 1800-1940, exh. cat., Palmer Museum of Art (University Park, PA, 1996), p. 178
Fabiola Cogliandro, Vicende collezionistiche dei dipinti italiani dal XIII al XVI secolo della Collezione d'arte di Grigorij Sergeevič Stroganoff, Figure, Università di Bologna (Bologna, 2013), pp. 73-85, pp. 75-76, repr. p. 76
- Exhibition History
32Q: 2440 Medieval, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
- Subjects and Contexts
Google Art Project
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