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European Art
Artist: Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci), Italian, 1494–1557

Virgin and Child, known as the Madonna del Libro

ca. 1545–46

Oil on panel

unframed: 80.7 × 64.1 cm (31 3/4 × 25 1/4 in.)
Maitland F. Griggs, B.A. 1896, Fund
Pontormo was the foremost painter in Florence of the generation following Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo, and the preferred artist of the Medici dukes. This painting is the only surviving fragment of his most famous composition (the complete image is recorded in no fewer than twenty-five sixteenth-century copies) and the latest known work from the artist’s hand. Left incomplete in Pontormo’s studio at the time of his death, it was probably cut centuries later to its present size and shape.
Made in Florence, Italy
On view
Italian, Florence
16th century

Possibly identical with a painting found in Pontormo's house at his death (January 1, 1557) and sold out of his estate in 1559 to Alfonso Quistelli, fiscal agent of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand duke of Tuscany; sold by Quistelli in 1559 to Alessandro Allori, acting on behalf of Agnolo Bronzino; sold by Bronzino and Allori to Piero Salviati, Florence, 1559; Grand duke Cosimo de' Medici, 1564. Private collection, France (sale, Jean-Claude Anaf & Associe, Lyon, Lot 215, March 25, 2001). Matteo and Marco Grassi, Paris and New York; Sotheby's, New York, January 23, 2003 (BI)


Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 222, 394, pl. 209.

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.