Description This work is one of a group of panels attributed to Jacopo del Sellaio or his workshop depicting the Virgin and Child. Iconograhically, this Madonna and Child conforms, with some variations, to a type inspired by the vision experienced by St. Birgitta of Sweden (died 1373) in which the Virgin was obliged to place her new-born on the bare ground. It was believed that Christ accepted this as an expression of his great humility. Some artists found this too shocking and placed the Child on the hem of Mary's cloak, rather than on the bare ground. The panel has suffered considerable damage over time. For more information on this piece, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 62, p. 98.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1881 catalogue: no. 24; 1897 catalogue: no. 86, as Tuscan School, end of the 14th century]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] On the scroll held by St. John the Baptist: ECE ANI DEI QITOLLI (i.e. ECCE AGNUS DEI QUI TOLLIT PECCATA MUNDI)
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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