Crucifixion with the Mourning Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist

Attributed to Pietro di Miniato, Italian (active Florence and Prato), born c. 1366, died 1430-46

Geography:
Made in Florence, Italy, Europe

Date:
c. 1420

Medium:
Tempera and tooled gold on panel with vertical grain

Dimensions:
22 5/8 x 10 3/4 inches (57.5 x 27.3 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting before 1900, Johnson Collection

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1950-134-532

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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Additional information:
  • PublicationItalian Paintings 1250-1450

    Christ hangs on an unusually tall cross, with the Virgin to the left and John the Evangelist to the right. The background is dark blue. The panel's long and narrow shape suggests that it must have been an independent devotional painting rather than part of an altarpiece.

    Everett Fahy (letter dated New York, March 11, 1985) suggested that the picture might be by Pietro di Miniato. It is, in fact, quite close to works that can be dated to his mid- and late career, such as the detached mural paintings of a tabernacle (see Piazzanese (Prato), rectory of San Giusto) of about 1415-20 from the rectory of San Giusto in Piazzanese, outside of Prato, as well as in its figure style to works like the predella showing the Adoration of the Magi (see Columbus (Ohio) Museum of Art, Gift of Ferdinand Howald, no. 31.37) in the Columbus (Ohio) Museum of Art.1 Carl Brandon Strehlke, from Italian paintings, 1250-1450, in the John G. Johnson Collection and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2004, pp. 361-362.

    Notes:

    1. It is also similar to a Crucifixion reproduced in Richard Fremantle. Florentine Gothic Painters from Giotto to Masaccio: A Guide to Painting in and near Florence, 1300-1450. London, 1975, fig. 829; however, the dimensions and present whereabouts of that panel are not known.

    Bibliography:

    Philadelphia Museum of Art. Paintings from Europe and the Americas in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: A Concise Catalogue. Philadelphia, 1994, repro. p. 226 (attributed to Piero di Miniato)

Provenance

Louise and Walter C. Arensberg, Los Angeles, acquired after 1940? [1]; gift to PMA, 1950. 1. The painting does not appear in a December 3, 1940 inventory of the Arensberg collection (PMA Arensberg Archives, Box 28, folder 44). Possibly acquired in Los Angeles (see annotation in Arensberg Archives, Box 30, folder 26, Inventory of WLA art collection, 1951).