This monumental altarpiece, signed and dated by the artist in Latin below the Virgin's throne, was once in the now ruined church of Sant'Andrea in Ferrara. In front are Saint Michael, standing on a dragon and weighing human souls (as he will do it at the Last Judgment), and Saint John the Baptist. Behind these stand Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Jerome.
Mary's role as a symbol of the Christian Church is emphasized by her placement at the center of a temple-like building that opens up to a beautiful landscape. The simple and harmonious style of the painting was a means of expressing devotion.
For more information on this panel, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 244, pp. 366-367.
Church of Sant'Andrea, Ferrara, until the late 19th century; Santini Collection, Ferrara, after 1875 [mode of aquisition unknown]; Tavazzi [dealer], Rome, 1902, by purchase; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1912, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
[Signature] On the marble step of the throne at the extreme left: MICHAELIS / CORTEL[L]INIS; [Date] After signature: MCCCCCIIIIII
Acquired by Henry Walters, 1912