Italian Paintings at the Yale University Art Gallery


Laurence Kanter and Pia Palladino

Cover image of Italian Paintings at the Yale University Art Gallery

The collection of Italian paintings at the Yale University Art Gallery constitutes one of the largest and richest collections of such material in the world. At its core is the renowned James Jackson Jarves Collection, the earliest-formed collection of Italian paintings found in any American museum, assembled in Florence by Jarves (1818–1888) between 1850 and 1859.  Yale’s collection of Italian paintings was considerably augmented in the 1930s and 1940s by gifts from, and ultimately the bequest of, Maitland Fuller Griggs (1872–1943, B.A. 1896), who showed a preference for paintings from Florence and Siena—the two schools most deeply represented in the Jarves Collection. Further significant gifts received in 1959 from Louis and Hannah Rabinowitz and, over the last decade, from Richard L. Feigen (B.A. 1952), along with strategic purchases and a small number of other gifts from alumni and from friends of the Gallery, have expanded the chronological and geographic sweep of the collection well beyond the original limits of the Jarves Collection.

Italian Paintings at the Yale University Art Gallery is the first comprehensive presentation of Yale’s full collection of Italian paintings, ranging from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century. Each catalogue entry is accompanied by high-resolution, zoomable images and features full technical notes, provenance, and published references, as well as a detailed discussion of conservation history (where relevant), attribution, dating, meaning, function, and significance. Entries are divided chronologically among three volumes and, taking advantage of the digital format, are being released in batches beginning in spring 2023. Volume 1 covers the period from approximately 1220 through 1420; volume 2 catalogues works produced between about 1420 and 1500; and volume 3 features objects dating from about 1500 through 1800.