Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene

Object Details

Title:

Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene

Artist/Maker:

Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola) (Italian, 1503 - 1540)

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Italy, Europe (Place created)

Date:

1535 to 1540

Medium:

Oil on paper, laid down on panel

Dimensions:

75.9 × 59.7 × 3 cm (29 7/8 × 23 1/2 × 1 3/16 in.)

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An independent picture intended for private devotion. Typically for the artist, the iconography is unconventional: the Virgin and Child are separated from one another; she reaches across to clutch him by the wrist, but he turns away to converse with and embrace his young cousin, St. John the Baptist, whose hands are joined in prayer. Between them is a young woman with beautifully coiffed but partially unbound flowing locks, who is supporting the Christ Child under her arms; she is most likely Mary Magdalene, although in the older literature on the painting she was often misinterpreted as St. Catherine of Alexandria. Her true identity is established but the foreground still life, which includes a string of pearls and a stiletto of the sort used in the preparation of one’s toilette, and also a representation of her ecstatic bodily assumption in the upper left of the composition. In what may well be his final work of this kind, Parmigianino employed his usual method of dividing the composition between a group on one side and a single figure on the other.

Provenance
by 1644 - 1671

Cardinal Antonio Barberini, 1607 - 1671 (Palazzo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, Italy), by inheritance to his nephew, Maffeo Barberini, 1671.
Source: First mentioned in the 1644 inventory, no. 308. In his posthumous inventory of 1671, no. 143.

1671 - 1685

Prince Maffeo Barberini of Palestrina, 1632 - 1685 (Palazzo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, Italy), by inheritance to his son, Urbano Barberini, 1685.
Source: Listed in the 1672 inventory of Cardinal Antonio Barberini's bequests to his brother, Cardinal Francesco Barberini (1597-1679) and his nephew, Prince Maffeo Barberini, no. 62. Listed in Prince Maffeo's posthumous inventory, 1686, no. 273.

1685 - 1722

Prince Urbano Barberini of Palestrina, 1666 - 1722 (Palazzo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, Italy), by inheritance within the Barberini family, 1722.
Source: Listed in an undated inventory (probably 1686) of the paintings inherited by Prince Urbano from his father, no. 19

1722 -

Barberini Family, sold through Gavin Hamilton for John Taylor.
Source: Handwritten note by H. Isherwood Kay in his copy of the pictures at Basildon Park (London, National Gallery Library).

by 1770 - 1787

Sir John Taylor, First Bart. of Lysson Hall, 1745 - 1786 (Lysson Hall, Jamaica) [bought in, Taylor sale, Christie's London, April 27, 1787, lot 66. Catalogue description: "A Holy Family by Parmegiano, a Chef D'Oeuvre of this great Master, and esteemed One of his finest Pictures in Europe." £425.5s to Fuhr (bought in)], by inheritance to his son Simon Richard Brisset Taylor, 1787.

1787 - 1815

Sir Simon Richard Brissett Taylor, Second Bart. of Lysson Hall, Jamaica, 1783 - 1815, by inheritance to his sister Anna Susanna Watson-Taylor, married to George Watson-Taylor, 1815 (Anna Susanna married George Watson of Erlestoke Park in 1810, who assumed the last name Taylor).

1815 - 1832

Anna Susanna Watson-Taylor, 1781 - 1853 (Erlestoke Park, near Devizes, Wiltshire) [sold, Erlestoke Park sale, George Robins, July 25, 1832, lot 155.]

1815 - 1832

George Watson Taylor (Erlestoke Park, near Devizes, Wiltshire) [sold, Erlestoke Park sale, George Robins, July 25, 1832, lot 155]

By 1845 - 1857

James A. Morrison, 1789 - 1857 (Basildon Park, Lower Basildon), by inheritance to his son Charles Morrison, 1857.
Source: seen by Waagen in 1854 at Basildon Park, inv. 97

1857 - 1909

Charles Morrison, 1817 - 1909 (Basdilon Park, Lower Basildon), by inheritance to his sister Ellen Morrison and brother Walter Morrison, 1909.

1910 - 1934

Major James Archibald Morrison, 1873 - 1934 (Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, Berkshire until 1929, when property sold and art collection removed to Sudeley Castle), by inheritance to his daughter Mary Morrison, married to John Henry Dent-Brocklehurst, 1934.

1934 - 1949

Mary Dent-Brocklehurst (Morrison), born 1902 (Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe), by inheritance to her son, Mark Dent-Brocklehurst, 1949.

1949 - 1972

Mark Dent-Brocklehurst, 1932 - 1972 (Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe), by inheritance to his wife, Mary Elizabeth Dent-Brocklehurst (Chipps), 1972.

1972 - 2017

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth (Chips) Dent-Brocklehurst (Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe)

-

Dent-Brocklehurst Family, 2017 - 2017

Exhibitions
Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English Masters (1828)
  • British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom (London), 1828
Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English Masters (1845)
  • British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom (London), 1845
Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School (1879)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), 1879
Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters and by Deceased Masters of the British School (1894 - 1894)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), 1894
Third National Loan Exhibition: Pictures from Basildon Park and Fonthill Collections (1914 - 1915)
  • Grosvenor Gallery (London), 1914 to 1915
Discoveries from the Cinquecento (June 17 to November 6, 1982)
  • P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., Ltd., London, June 17 to August 7, 1982
Bibliography

Christie's, London. Catalogue of the Most Capital and Valuable Collection of Pictures ... of Sir John Taylor, Bart. April 27, 1787, p. 7, lot 66.

British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom. Catalogue of Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, and Dutch Masters, with Which the Proprietors Have Favoured the Institution, exh. cat. (London: British Institution, with William Nicol, 1828), p. 12, cat. 22.

George Robins. Catalogue of the Magnificent  Assemblage of Property at Erlestoke Mansion...Selected by George Watson Taylor. July 9, 1832, p. 166, lot 155.

British Institution. Catalogue of Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English Masters, exh. cat. (London, 1845), p. 9, no. 51.

Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Treasures of Art in Great Britian: Being an Account of the Chief Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Illuminated Mss., &c., &c. 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1854), vol. 2, p. 262.

Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain: Being an Account of More than Forty Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Mss. [...] Visited in 1854 and 1856, and Now for the First Time Described (London: John Murray, 1857), pp. 107-8.

Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School Including Oil Paintings, Miniatures, and Drawings, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy, with William Clowes and Sons, 1879), p. 28, no. 143.

Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy, 1894), p. 27, no. 116.

Graves, Algernon. A Century of Loan Exhibitions, 1813-1912. 5 vols. (London: Algernon Graves, 1913-15), vol. 2 (1913), pp. 904-5.

Catalogue of the Pictures at Basildon Park. The Property of Captain Archibald Morrison. Typescript, unpublished, n.d, unpaginated.

A Catalogue of the Pictures in the III National Loan Exhibition: Pictures from the Basildon Park and Fonthill Collections... held at the Grosvenor Gallery, exh. cat. (London: W. Clowes, 1914), pp. 46-47, cat. 23.

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Whitfield, Clovis. "A Parmigianino Discovery." The Burlington Magazine 124, no. 950 (May 1982), pp. 276-80, ill..

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Freedberg, Sydney J. "Il Parmigianino." In La pittura in Emilia e in Romagna. Il Cinquecento. 2 vols. Vera Fortunati, ed. (Milan: Electa, 1995), vol. 2, pp. 85-86.

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