Nativity

Predella panel of an altarpiece; companion to John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art (Cat. 124, 126, 127); the main sections of the altarpiece are in the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin-Preussischer Kulturbesitz (cat. no. 1136, 1123)

Paolo Schiavo (Paolo di Stefano Badaloni), Italian (active Florence and environs, Pisa), 1397 - 1478

Geography:
Made in Italy, Europe

Date:
Late 1420s - early 1430s

Medium:
Tempera and tooled gold on panel with horizontal grain

Dimensions:
8 7/8 x 12 3/4 inches (22.5 x 32.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

* Gallery 212, European Art 1100-1500, second floor

Accession Number:
Cat. 125

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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Label:
Paolo Schiavo derived elements of his style from some of the more famous artists working in Florence during his youth, including Masaccio and Masolino.

Additional information:
  • PublicationItalian Paintings 1250-1450

    To the left the Virgin kneels in adoration of the baby Christ, and to the right Joseph sits, resting his head on his hand. A shepherd looks on from a rocky crag to the left. Bernhard Berenson (1913, p. 74) suggested that this figure was a portrait of a Camaldolese monk, but the shepherd's pink robe discounts this, as a monk of that order would have been dressed in white. The rays of celestial light coming from the two angels, gold star, and baby contrast with the darkness of the night.

    For further comments see Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection cat. 127 Predella panel of an altarpiece: Flight into Egypt Carl Brandon Strehlke, from Italian paintings, 1250-1450, in the John G. Johnson Collection and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2004, pp. 384-389.

    Bibliography:

    Bernhard Berenson. Catalogue of a Collection of Paintings and Some Art Objects. Vol. 1, Italian Paintings. Philadelphia, 1913, pp. 72-75, repros. pp. 311-14 (Umbro-Florentine, toward 1425);
    Osvald Sirén. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Pictures in the Jarves Collection Belonging to Yale University. New Haven, 1916, p. 173;
    Helen Comstock. "Umbrian Paintings in American Collections." International Studio (New York), vol. 86, no. 356 (January 1927), pp. 23, 30, repros. p. 22;
    Richard Offner. Italian Primitives at Yale University: Comments and Revisions. Publications of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale. New Haven, 1927, p. 24;
    Raimond van Marle. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. vol. 9. The Hague, 1927, p. 255 n. 1;
    Raimond van Marle. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. vol. 10. The Hague, 1928, p. 574 n. 2;
    Bernhard Berenson. "Missing Pictures by Arcangelo di Cola." International Studio (New York), vol. 93, no. 386 (July 1929), p. 24, repro. p. 25 (cat. 124);
    Bernhard Berenson. "Quadri senza casa." Dedalo (Milan), vol. 10 (August 1929), repro. p. 140 (cat. 124);
    Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: A List of the Principal Artists and Their Works with an Index of Places. Oxford, 1932, p. 33;
    United States Review, December 21, 1936, n.p., repro.;
    Roberto Longhi. "Fatti di Masolino e di Masaccio." Critica d'arte (Florence), vol. 5, no. 34, fascs. 25-26, pt. 2 (July-December 1940), pp. 187-88 n. 25 (Roberto Longhi. Edizione delle opere complete di Roberto Longhi. vol. 8, pt. 1. Florence, 1967, pp. 58-60 n. 25);
    John G. Johnson Collection: Catalogue of Paintings. Foreword by Henri Marceau. Philadelphia, 1941, p. 2 (Archangelo di Cola da Camerino);
    Ferdinando Bologna. "Due santi di Paolo Schiavo." Paragone-arte (Florence), vol. 6, no. 62 (May 1955), pp. 38-39;
    Luisa Marcucci in Dizionario biografico degli italiani. Vol. 5. Rome, 1963, p. 67;
    [Barbara Sweeny]. John G. Johnson Collection: Catalogue of Italian Paintings. Foreword by Henri Marceau. Philadelphia, 1966, pp. 5-6, repro. pp. 122-23 (Arcangelo di Cola da Camerino);
    Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: A List of the Principal Artists and Their Works with an Index of Places. Central Italian and North Italian Schools. 3 vols. Rev. and enlarged ed. London, 1968, p. 20, plate 674 (cat. 125);
    Gustina Scaglia. "An Allegorical Portrait of Emperor Sigismund by Mariano Taccola of Siena." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes (London), vol. 31 (1968), p. 434;
    Pietro Zampetti. Paintings from the Marches: Gentile to Raphael. Translated by R. G. Carpanini. London, 1971, p. 78, figs. 53-57;
    Dizionario enciclopedico Bolaffi dei pittori e degli incisori italiani dall'XI al XX secolo. vol. 8. Turin, 1972, p. 317;
    Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, 1972, p. 185;
    Paul F. Watson. "Apollonio di Giovanni and Ancient Athens." Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin (Oberlin, Ohio), vol. 37, no. 1 (1979-80), p. 11, fig. 8 (cat. 124);
    Keith Christiansen. Gentile da Fabriano. Ithaca, N.Y., 1982, pp. 37, 75 n. 40;
    Cecilia Frosinini in La pittura in Italia: il quattrocento. Rev. and enlarged ed. 2 vols. Milan, 1987, p. 725;
    Angelo Ottolini in Milan, Palazzo Reale. Arte in Lombardia tra gotico e rinascimento. 1988, p. 208;
    Emmanuela Andreatta in Luciano Berti and Antonio Paolucci, eds. L'età di Masaccio: il primo quattrocentro a Firenze. Milan, 1990. Exhibition, Florence, Palazzo Vecchio, June 7-September 16, 1990, p. 262;
    Serena Romano with Domenico Compisano. Eclissi di Roma: pittura murale a Roma e nel Lazio da Bonifacio VIII a Martino V (1295-1431). Rome, 1992, p. 478;
    Miklós Boskovits. "Ancora su Paolo Schiavo: una scheda biografica e una proposta di catalogo." Arte cristiana (Milan), n.s., vol. 83, no. 770 (September-October 1995), p. 334, fig. 1 (cat. 125, detail);
    Anna Padoa Rizzo in The Dictionary of Art. Edited by Jane Turner. vol. 28. London, 1996, p. 81

    Companion panels for Philadelphia Museum of Art, John G. Johnson Collection cats. 124--127
    A. Center panel of an altarpiece: Annunciation. Berlin, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie, no. 1136
    B. Lateral panel of an altarpiece: Saint Jerome. Berlin, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie, no. 1123
    C. Lateral panel of an altarpiece: Saint Lawrence. Berlin, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Gemäldegalerie, no. 1123


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