Virgin and Child

Photo: Paul Macapia

Virgin and Child

ca. 1490

Bartolomeo Vivarini

Italian, Venice, active ca. 1440-after 1500

Because the Virgin and Child are seen from below, it is likely that this panel occupied the upper register of a large altarpiece containing numerous panels. The work is typical of Vivarini's mature style, which combines brilliant color and sculptural volume to create an image that would be legible from a distance in a dimly lit church. The angular folds and the crisply hatched brushstrokes are reminiscent of the techniques of Vivarini's contemporaries Mantegna and Squarcione.
Egg tempera and gold on wood
19 3/4 x 16 1/2 in. (50.17 x 41.91 cm)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
Provenance: Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence [1]; [Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi (1878-1955), Rome-Florence]; purchased by Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955), New York, 1932 (exhibited: Italian Paintings Lent By Mr. Samuel H. Kress, Oct 1932, Atlanta, GA, through June 1934 or 1935, Charlotte, NC, cat. no. 41; Golden Gate International Exposition, San Francisco, CA, 1940, catalogue Art no. 127, pl. 24); Seattle Art Museum, since 1952, accessioned 1961 [1] This painting was not included in sales from Fairfax Murray's estate held at Christie's, London, January 30 - February 2, 1920; Sotheby's, London, May 10, 1922; Cassirer & Helbing, Berlin, November 6-7, 1929
Photo: Paul Macapia
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Wash., Seattle Art Museum, Italian Art: Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1952. Text by William Suida and Sherman Lee. Cat. no. 11, pp. 6, 10, 15, reproduced on frontispiece.
Published ReferencesSuida, William and Richard Fuller. European Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. Seattle, Wash.: Seattle Art Museum, 1954; p. 36, reproduced p. 37.

Ishikawa, Chiyo. The Samuel H. Kress Collection at the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle, Wash.: Seattle Art Museum, 1997; fig. 14, p. 30.

Tempesti, Anna Forlani. Italian Fifteenth to Seventeenth Century Drawings in the Robert Lehman Collection. New York and Princeton, NJ: Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Princeton University press, 1991; p. 47.

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