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Pierpont Morgan's Study

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Robertus de Bailly
(French, fl. 1530)
Verrazano Globe, 1530
Gilded copper
Diameter 5 1/2 inches (133mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1912; AZ118

One of the earliest dated globes, this gilded sphere depicts the world as known from the explorations of Giovanni da Verrazano, who journeyed to the New World in 1524. He sailed along the coast from South Carolina to Newfoundland, becoming the first European since the Norse colonizers of ca. 1000 to visit New York and Narragansett Bay. The globe, executed by sculptor Robertus de Bailly in 1530, was based on a 1529 map by Verrazano's brother, Girolamo. Like the map, it identifies the newly charted North American continent as Verrazana.

After Michelozzo di Bartolomeo
(Italian, 1396–1472)
St. John the Baptist, late sixteenth century
22 3/16 x 10 1/4 inches (563 x 260 mm)
Height with base: 41inches (630 mm)
Bequest of Alice Tully, 1996; AZ177

St. John, clad in a hair shirt, holds in his right hand a shell, symbolic of his baptism of Christ. The bronze statue was modeled after the work of the Florentine sculptor and architect Michelozzo di Bartolomeo, who, along with Donatello, was one of the earliest artists of the Renaissance to cast freestanding statues in bronze.

Follower of Donatello
(Italian, 1386/87–1466)
Standing Virgin and Child, ca. 1470
Terra-cotta bas-relief with polychrome and gilding
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1904; AZ067

This rare depiction of the standing Virgin holding the Christ Child was inspired by Donatello's late style and was probably produced by one of his workshop assistants.

Pair of Firedog Bases
Italy, ca. 1530s
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1904; AZ024.1-2

These sphinxlike female figures, which originally would have been connected by a central section, appear to be the work of an Italian sculptor active in Venice or Padua during the 1530s. Such bronzes served as functional objects, meant to hold fireplace utensils; their exact origins often remain unknown.

Francesco Francia
(Italian, ca. 1450–1517)
Virgin and Child with SS. Dominic and Barbara
Oil on panel
Panel: 32 1/2 x 26 5/8 inches (815 x 675 mm)
Framed: 46 1/4 x 40 1/8 inches (1175 x 1020 m.)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1907; AZ025

Although trained as a goldsmith, Francia primarily worked as a painter in and around his hometown of Bologna. Depictions of the Virgin and Child with saints are predominant among his major surviving works. When he painted this panel the artist was influenced by the luminous style of his contemporary, Perugino.

Gian Gerolamo Grandi
(Italian, 1508–1560)
Pair of Pricket Candelabra, ca. 1520–50
AZ035.1: 33 7/8 x 12 1/4 inches (860 x 310 mm)
AZ035.2: 33 1/8 x 12 5/8 inches (840 x 320 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1904 and 1906; AZ035.1-2

Grandi belonged to a prominent family of sculptors who worked in the Veneto, the region surrounding Venice, and was known especially for his intricate bronzes. The base of each candelabrum is decorated with sphinxes. While one bears the winged man symbolic of St. Matthew, the other holds the ox representing St. Luke.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.