Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Along with Parmigianino, with whom he worked and trained, Girolamo Bedoli was the leading painter of his generation in Parma. His skills were in high demand, leading to important commissions for altarpieces and monumental fresco cycles throughout the city. This painting, which presents the Virgin and Child sitting modestly on the ground (a type called the Madonna of Humility), was probably intended for a private patron. By placing the figures against a verdant and dense landscape and enveloping them in a soft light that emphasizes and enhances the pink flesh tones and translucent whites of their drapery, Bedoli brings the viewer into closer contact with his subject and with the soft brushwork and subtle handling of the paint. The experience of viewing this painting is as much about appreciating the artist’s skillful working of the paint as it is about contemplating the religious subject.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli, Italian (Viadana, Italy c. 1505 - c. 1570 Parma, Italy)
The Virgin and Child in a Landscape
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Madonna with the Christ Child in a Landscape
Work Type
c. 1536-1537
Italian, Emilian, Parmesan
Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2540, European Art, 13th–16th century, The Renaissance
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Physical Descriptions
Oil on panel
42.6 x 55.5 cm (16 3/4 x 21 7/8 in.)
frame: 50 x 60.6 x 6 cm (19 11/16 x 23 7/8 x 2 3/8 in.)
Paine family, 1880s (as by Dürer), by descent; to Richard C. Paine, by descent; to Robert T. Paine; to Barbara B. Paine, Cambridge, Massachusetts, gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1972
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift in part of Barbara B. Paine and purchase in part from Mrs. Ernest Angell Trust Fund and Richard Norton Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

James A. Stubblebine, "The Italian Heritage", The Burlington Magazine (August 1967), Vol. 109, No. 773, pp. 487-488, repr. as fig. 67

"Recent Acquistions", Fogg Art Museum Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 3, March 1973, repr.

Helen Cooksey, "'Madonna and Child in a Landscape' by Girolamo Mazzola-Bedoli", Fogg Art Museum Annual Report 1972-1974 (1974), pp. 58-66, pp. 58-66, fig. 1

Sydney J. Freedberg, "Lorenzo Lotto to Nicolas Poussin", Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp. 389-397, p. 392, repr. p. 391 as fig. 6

Ann Milstein Guite, The Paintings of Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli, Garland Publishing, Inc. (New York, 1978), pp. 50-51

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. 175, p. 154, 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)

Parmigianino: Die Madonna in der Alten Pinakothek, Hatje Cantz Verlag (2007), pp. 35-36, 48. repr. in color on p. 36.

Stephan Wolohojian and Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Harvard Art Museum/ Handbook, ed. Stephan Wolohojian, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, 2008), p. 76, repr.

Important Old Master Paintings, auct. cat., Sotheby's, New York (New York, January 28, 2010), p. 48, under lot 157

Elena V. Shabliy, ed., Representations of the Blessed Virgin Mary in World Literature and Art, Lexington Books (Lanham, Maryland, 2017), repr. on p. xx

Exhibition History

Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977

HAA 10 Survey Course: The Western Tradition, Art Since the Renaissance, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 02/09/2008 - 03/02/2008

Re-View: S422-423 Western Art of the Middle Ages & Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/16/2008 - 06/18/2011

32Q: 2540 Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

Related Works

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