Donation of a Virgin with Child by Bartolomeo Vivarini to the Louvre

Bartolomeo Vivarini (c. 1430/32-after 1491)
Virgin with Child
Tempera and gold on panel - 55.5 x 37.6 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : Benoît Derouineau

10/4/11 – Acquisition – Paris, Musée du Louvre – On Friday 8 April, during the inauguration of the Musée Fragonard in Grasse (see following news item), which houses part of the Jean-François Costa collection, this patron donated a painting by Bartolomeo Vivarini representing The Virgin with Child (ill.) to the Louvre.

This painting had come up for auction on 20 June 2006 at Aguttes in Neuilly-sur-Seine before being acquired by the collector from Grasse. It appears to date [1] from 1460-1465, when Bartolomeo was still working in the workshop of his brother, Antonio Vivarini. The background in gold leaf as well as the attitude of the Virgin and Child which comes from the Byzantine tradition classify the work as still partly in the Internation Gothic school. Notably under the influence of Mantegna, Bartolomeo then moved on to Renaissance formulas more closely related to the art of Giovanni Bellini where the Virgin is sometimes seen in front of a landscape, such as the paintingat the National Gallery in Washington, which dates from around 1475.

The Louvre already owned a Saint John of Capistrano, the first painting to be signed and dated by the artist in 1459, basically the same period as this Virgin with Child.

Didier Rykner, dimanche 10 avril 2011


P.S. We complete this article by adding (something we did not know at the time we wrote) that this beautiful painting had been acquired by the Sarti gallery which had published it in a very complete presentation signed by Andrea de Marchi, in its catalogue of 2008, Entre tradition et modernité. Peinture italienne des XIVe et XVe siècles.


[1] This information was taken from the auction catalogue.

imprimer Print this article

Previous article in News Items : The church of San Clemente in Casauria restored thanks to the World Monument Fund

Next article in News Items : The Musée Fragonard opens in Grasse