The present tondo is one of a small group of works by the anonymous painter known as the Master of the Greenville Tondo. Federico Zeri isolated the personality of this painter around a tondo depicting the Madonna and Child with Angels in the collection of the Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.1 Both Everett Fahy and Zeri subseqently added a number of compositions to this artist's oeuvre, categorizing him as a close Tuscan follower of Perugino.2 The early work of the Master can be identified in two compositions, a large altarpiece in the church of Santa Cristina at Pacole near San Gimignano, and in another tondo, depicting the Madonna and Child with Two Angels, in the Ca' d'Oro in Venice.3
Stylistically, the face of the Virgin in the present work may be compared with that of the Virgin's face in the Jonas Nativity (St. Petersburg, Florida, Museum of Fine Arts). Both depictions of the Virgin emphasize the soft, idealized attributes so recognizable in the work of Perugino and his immediate followers. Additionally, both the St. Petersburg work and the present composition were at one time erroneously attributed by Wilhelm Suida to Eusebio da San Giorgio, a fact which helps demonstrate the close links with which the present artist shares with Perugino's followers.
We are grateful to Everett Fahy, who first identified the present work as by the Master of the Greenville Tondo in 1966, for confirming its attribution based on firsthand inspection.
1. A. Scharf, The Bob Jones University Collection of Religious Paintings, Greenville 1962, p. 54.
2. The twenty-one works cited are listed in the Bob Jones University catalogue, which addresses the fact that Zeri omits the eponymous work in his catalogue, Italian Paintings in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore 1976, p. 179.
3. Zeri 1976, p. 179.
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