Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
A woman sits on the ground holding a sleeping baby.

In a forest thick with trees and bright green underbrush, a light-skinned woman sits holding a baby. Her face is rosy with a soft smile. Her blonde hair is swept up, but a few strands frame her face. She wears a cream robe and blue cloak. In her right arm she cradles a coral cushion. A light skinned baby in a white shirt but nude from the waist down reclines on the pillow. His eyes are closed, his mouth is open, and his brow is slightly furrowed. The soft light on the figures contrasts with the shadowy forest behind them.

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
View this object's location on our interactive map

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.)


Recorded Ownership History
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

The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.

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

Verification Level

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