Description Against a shimmering gold background indicative of a heavenly realm, the Madonna tenderly supports the Christ Child who stands on a ledge before her. She gazes reverently toward her son, who looks out at the viewer and offers a small cherry, considered a symbol of paradise on account of its sweetness. The "Pseudo Pier Francesco Fiorentino," so-named because many of his paintings were once attributed to the real Pier Francesco Fiorentino (1444-after 1497), operated a successful workshop in 15th-century Florence that focused on copying the Madonna and Child paintings of his more famous colleagues, namely Francesco Pesellino (1422-1457) and Filippo Lippi (ca 1406-1469). These copies were sold on the open market to members of Florence’s burgeoning middle class, who would use them for private devotional purposes in their homes. This example copies Pesellino's "Madonna and Child" at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, France. The two are virtually identical with the exception of the background, which is an architectural niche in Pesellino’s original.
Provenance Marquess Filippo Marignoli, Rome and Spoleto, until 1898 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Marquess Francesco Marignoli, 1898 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome, 1899 [mode of acquisition unknown] [1900 catalogue supplement: no. 14, as Filippo Lippi]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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