Madonna and Child with a Male Saint, Catherine of Alexandria and a Donor

Object Details


Madonna and Child with a Male Saint, Catherine of Alexandria and a Donor


Michelangelo di Pietro Membrini (Italian (Lucchese), active about 1489 - about 1521)




about 1500


Tempera on panel


101.6 × 101.6 cm (40 × 40 in.)

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At the bottom left, a well-dressed donor looks up at the Virgin and Child above. He may be Michele Guinigi, who pledged himself to marry Caterina Buonvisi. Caterina may be featured in the guise of Saint Catherine, shown on the right with her broken wheel, the symbol of her martyrdom. The painting may, in fact, have been a gift celebrating the marriage between Guinigi and Buonvisi, both from prominent Italian families. The families' coats of arms are shown on the Madonna's throne.

All attention in the painting focuses on the Virgin nursing the robust infant Christ in the center. To the left, Saint Jerome bows his head in prayer.

This picture, formerly in the Lathrop collection in New York, was the linchpin for the reattribution of a group of works to a follower of Filippino Lippi. This obscure painter has recently been identified as Michelangelo di Pietro Membrini.


David Costantini (Florence, Italy)
Source: Witt Library photograph.

by 1906 - about 1929

Francis Lathrop (New York, New York), sold to Wildenstein & Co.

about 1929 - 1968

Wildenstein & Co. (New York) (London, England; New York, New York; Paris, France), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1968.

Paintings by Old Masters (November 9 to December 1, 1929)
  • The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis), November 9 to December 1, 1929
Institute of Arts, 16th loan exhibition of Old Masters: Italian paintings of the XIV to the XVI century (March 8 to March 30, 1933)
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit), March 8 to March 30, 1933
European Paintings by Old and Modern Masters (June 13 to August 5, 1934)
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), June 13 to August 5, 1934
25 Masterpieces of European Painting (1935)
  • Stendahl Art Galleries (Los Angeles), 1935
Masterpieces of Painting (February 5 to March 8, 1942)
  • Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, February 5 to March 8, 1942
Italian Paintings (1947) (39; as "School of Lucca")
  • Wildenstein & Company (New York), 1947
Great Masters of the Italian Renaissance (October 4 to December 13, 1953) (Cat. 41)
  • Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), November 15 to December 13, 1953
The Painter as Historian (November 15 to December 31, 1962)
  • Wildenstein & Company (New York), November 15 to December 31, 1962
The J. Paul Getty Collection (June 29 to September 3, 1972) (Cat. 39)
  • The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis), June 29 to September 3, 1972

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Olson, Roberta J.M. "The Florentine Tondo." The Oxford University Press. (Oxford: 2000), pp. 29-31, ill.

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