European Art
Artist: Master of the Magdalen, Italian, 1265–1290

Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Leonard and Peter and Scenes from the Life of Saint Peter

ca. 1280

Tempera on panel

framed: 106 × 160.2 cm (41 3/4 × 63 1/16 in.)
University Purchase from James Jackson Jarves
This is a rare surviving example of a complete thirteenth-century altarpiece. The scenes at the sides, drawn from the legend of Saint Peter, read from left to right across the panel, starting from the top: Christ Calling Peter, Christ’s Charge to Peter, the Fall of Simon Magus, Peter Healing a Crippled Man, the Liberation of Peter, and the Martyrdoms of Peter and Paul. The presence of Saint Leonard to the right of the Virgin suggests that the painting may have come from the church of San Leonardo in Arcetri, just outside the walls of Florence.
Made in Florence, Italy
On view
Italian, Florence
13th century

James Jackson Jarves Collection, Florence, to 1871; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Elizabeth Bradford Smith, An American in Medieval Paris (Rome: Bardi Editore, 2004), 333, fig. 5.

James Jackson Jarves, Descriptive Catalogue of “Old Masters,” Collected by James J. Jarves, to Illustrate the History of Painting from A.D. 1200 to the Best Periods of Italian Art (Cambridge, Mass.: H. O. Houghton and Co., 1860), 42–43, no. 13.

James Jackson Jarves, Art Studies: The “Old Masters” of Italy (New York: Derby and Jackson, 1861), engraving pl. A, fig. 2.

Russell Sturgis, Jr., Manual of the Jarves Collection of Early Italian Pictures (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1868), 25–26, no. 12.

W. F. Brown, Boston, Catalogue of the Jarves Collection of Early Italian Pictures, sale cat. (1871), 13, lot 12 (Margaritone d’Arezzo).

William Rankin, Notes on the Collections of Old Masters at Yale University, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Fogg Museum of Harvard University (Wellesley, Mass.: Department of Art of Wellesley College, 1905), 7, no. 12.

Osvald Sirén, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Pictures in the Jarves Collection Belonging to Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1916), 11–13, (as manner of Margaritone d’Arezzo).

Raimond van Marle, Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, 1, 3, 9, 17 (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1923), 336, 351–353, 355, vol. 1; p. 336, note 1; as Florentine, mid-13th century, fig. 189.

Richard Offner, Italian Primitives at Yale University: Comments and Revisions (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1927), 2, 11–13, (Magdalen Master), fig. 4E.

Associates in Fine Arts, Yale University, “Handbook: A Description of the Gallery of Fine Arts and the Collections,” Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 5, nos. 1–3 (1931): 25, ill.

Arts of the Middle Ages: A Loan Exhibition, February 17 to March 24, 1940 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1940), 16–17, no. 47, pl. VII (Magdalen Master).

Helen Comstock, “The Yale Collection of Italian Paintings,” The Connoisseur 118 (September 1946): 47.

“Picture Book Number One,” Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 15, nos.1–3 (October 1946): fig. 2.

Edward B. Garrison, Italian Romanesque Panel Painting (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1949), 142, no. 366, (Magdalen Master, ca. 1270).

Charles Seymour Jr., Early Italian Paintings in the Yale University Art Gallery: A Catalogue by Charles Seymour, Jr. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1970), 9–11, no. 1.

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), 599.

Daniel L. Arnheim, Charles Seymour Jr., and Gloria Kury Keach, Italian Primitives: The Case History of a Collection and Its Conservation (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1972), 9–10, no. 1, (Magdalen Master).

Katherine Neilson and Andrew Carnduff Ritchie, Selected Paintings and Sculpture from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972), no. 1.

Angelo Tartuferi, La pittura in Italia: Il Duecento e il Trecento (Milan: Electa, 1986), 276.

Richard Offner and Miklos Boskovits, A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. The Fourteenth Century, 2, section 3 (Florence: Giunti, 1987), 284, note 2 (Magdalen Master).

Luciano Bellosi, Cimabue (Milan: Federico Motto, 1998), 41.

Clay M. Dean, Selection of Early Italian Paintings from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2003), 16–17, (Magdalen Master).

Margaret Finch, “St. Peter and the Brancacci Chapel,” Apollo 160, number 511 (September 2004): 69–70, 71, note 27 (Master of the Magdalen, c. 1270), fig. 5.

Elizabeth B. Smith, “An American in Medieval Parts: The Imapact of Europe on Early American Collectors of Medieval Art,” Acta ad Archaeologiam et Artivm Historiam Pertinentia (2005).

Ruth Wilkins Sullivan, “The Annointing in Bethany and Other Affirmations of Christ’s Divinity on Duccio’s Back Predella,” Art Bulletin 67, no. 1 (March 1985): 39–42, (discussion of Magdalen Master).

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 131.

Laurence Kanter, “Some Early Sienese Paintings: Cleaned, Uncleaned, Restored, Unrestored. What Have We Learned?,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2010): 46–65, fig. 9.

Clay M. Dean, A Selection of Early Italian Paintings from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2003), 13, 16–17, no. 1.

Mrs. Francis Steegmuller, The Two Lives of James Jackson Jarves (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1951), 293.

Georg Swarzenski, “Arts of the Middle Ages,” Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts 38 (Feb. 1940): 2; 7, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.