GIROLAMO DA SANTACROCE | THE HOLY FAMILY WITH MARY MAGDALEN

ENQUIRE

Details

GIROLAMO DA SANTACROCE
Santa Croce, Bergamo 1480/5-1556 Venice
THE HOLY FAMILY WITH MARY MAGDALEN
oil on canvas
141 x 205 cm.; 55½ x 80¾ in.

£275,000

View High Resolution Image

PROVENANCE
Private collection, Europe;
Anonymous sale, Vienna, Dorotheum, 18 October 2016, lot 24.

CATALOGUE NOTE
Girolamo da Santacroce was born near Bergamo, but trained in Venice from the end of the 15th century in the workshop of the great Gentile Bellini. Documentary evidence proves that Girolamo was a trusted member of the atelier: in 1503, he appears as a witness on the will of Maria Trevisan, Gentile’s second wife; and in Gentile’s own will of 1507, Girolamo is named as the beneficiary of several of the master’s drawings. Girolamo continued to work in the Bellini workshop with Gentile’s brother, Giovanni, and it is believed that upon the latter’s death in 1516, Girolamo went to spend a short time in the employ of another Venetian artist, Cima da Conegliano, before setting up his own practice by 1517.

Girolamo’s work is clearly strongly influenced by his masters, as well as other major contemporary Venetian artists, such as Titian and Palma Vecchio. Here, the bright colours, positioning of the figures, and the landscape background, which recedes into lucid blue mountains, are typically Venetian, as is the subject: the Madonna and Child or the Holy Family in a landscape, with one or more accompanying saints, was highly favoured in Venice in the decades around 1500. The scale of this painting suggests that it was most likely produced for a public setting, and probably one in which the Magdalen was of especial importance.

Certain details within the composition bear witness to Girolamo's propensity for borrowing motifs from his contemporaries. The figure of the Christ Child is derived from Titian's lunette fresco of the Madonna and Child with two angels , of circa 1523-25, in the Doge's Palace in Venice; the pair of rabbits are a quotation from Giovanni Bellini's Saint Jerome of 1505, in the National Gallery of Art, Washington; and the small village landscape, visible between the Madonna and the Magdalen, is an exact replica in reverse of the farmyard architecture in Albrecht Dürer's engraving of the Prodigal Son , of 1496. Fascinatingly the last two of these details are also found in a Madonna and Child (sold in these Rooms, 4 July 2019, lot 123) by Bartolomeo Veneto, another pupil of Giovanni Bellini. The parallel appropriation of these motifs may suggest that both a pattern for the rabbits, and Dürer's print, were freely available in the Bellini workshop. In any case, they testify to the rich exchange of inspiration between local and foreign artists alike.

For all enquires, please contact Andrew.Fletcher@sothebys.com

Currently Available for Private Sale

Load More
Close