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Pierpont Morgan's Study

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Antonio Rossellino
(Italian, 1427–1478)
Bust of the Christ Child, ca. 1460–70
Marble, with nineteenth-century metal halo
With base, 18 7/8 inches x 11 inches x 15 3/8 inches (480 x 280 x 390 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1906; AZ036

Rossellino was one of the most talented Florentine sculptors of his generation. This sculpted bust of the Christ Child may once have been coupled with one of a young Saint John the Baptist; such pairings were popular in mid-fifteenth-century Florence.

Frank Owen Salisbury
(British, 1874–1962)
Portrait of J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867–1943) in a Cambridge Robe, 1934
Oil on canvas
48 5/8 x 39 3/8 inches (1235 x 1000 mm)
Framed 51 3/4 x 41 3/4 inches (1314 x 1060 mm)
Commissioned by J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1934; AZ068

This portrait depicts J. P. Morgan, Jr., Pierpont Morgan's son and founder of this institution, wearing the robes of a Doctor of Laws, an honorary degree conferred by Cambridge University in 1919. The degree was a gesture of gratitude to the younger Morgan, who, as head of the firm J.P. Morgan & Co., provided financial support to the Allies during the First World War.

Pair of Saltcellars
France, ca. 1520–40
Lead-glazed white clay, inlaid with dark clay
AZ037.1: 5 3/4 x 3 3/8 inches (145 x 85 mm.)
AZ037.2: 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches (140 x 95 mm.)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1906; AZ037.1-2

These elaborate saltcellars, one decorated with salamanders, the emblem of the French king François i (1494–1547), and the other with interlaced crescents, the insignia of Henri II's mistress Diane de Poitiers (1499–1566), are a rare example of the extremely fine, complex ceramics produced during the mid-sixteenth century in France, perhaps at Saint-Porchaire, a town in the southwest. Only about sixty known examples of this so-called Saint-Porchaire ware survive.

Follower of Claus Sluter
St. John the Baptist with a Lamb, ca. 1450
Limestone with traces of polychromy
24 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches (615 x 267 x 145 mm)
Gift of Mrs. Felix M. Warburg, in memory of her husband, 1941; AZ017

This statue reveals the impact of Sluter (ca. 1360–ca. 1406), a sculptor who was born in Haarlem and arrived at the Burgundy court in Dijon in 1385. The court was a center of artistic production and patronage, known especially for the naturalism of its art. The careful differentiation of textures and attention to surface detail reflect Sluter's influence and suggest that the statue is the work of a Burgundian sculptor active during the fifteenth century.

Stemmed Cup with Two Handles
Italy (Deruta), sixteenth century
7 1/8 x 4 1/2 x 5 7/8 inches (180 x 115 x 150 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1906; AZ016

This stemmed cup bears the scale ornamentation characteristic of pottery from Deruta, a center in Umbria of Renaissance majolica. The light-colored earthenware is covered with opaque lead glaze, here set off by brilliant copper-luster borders. Greek deities of fertility—Artemis, Demeter, and Triptolemus—and their serpent attendants are depicted on the interior at the base of the cup.

Domenico Tintoretto
(Italian, 1560–1635)
Portrait of a Man, ca. 1600
Oil on canvas
50 x 40 inches (1270 x 1016 mm)
Purchased by J. P. Morgan, Jr., 1929; AZ072

The unidentified subject of this portrait, painted in Venice by Domenico Tintoretto, son of the more famous Jacopo, is believed to be a Moorish ambassador to the Venetian court.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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