Italian School

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Italian School
16th century
Head and Shoulders of the Virgin or a Female Saint Looking Upward
ca. 1520-1535
Pen and brown ink, and blue, pink, red, and yellow watercolor on paper; later marks in graphite over figures's right eye; trimmed to a circle.
Diameter: 4 inches (102 mm)
Gift of Janos Scholz.

Inscribed on verso, in graphite: "Ex. Coll. Savoia; Aosta//Florentine, Late Xve/around Raffaellino del Garbo".

Dukes of Savoia-Aosta (according to János Scholz records), Turin (no mark; see Lugt S. 47a); and by descent to Tommaso Alberto Vittorio di Savoia-Genova (1854-1931), 12th Duke of Genova, Turin; purchased in Turin in 1952 by János Scholz (1903-1993), New York (no mark; see Lugt S. 2933b).

The drawing was acquired as by Raffaellino del Garbo, though this attribution is no longer accepted. It derives from the miraculous image of the Annunciation frescoed in the church of Santissima Annunziata, Florence, in which the Virgin is shown glancing up at the Holy Spirit descending upon her. The fresco is itself an anonymous work, probably from the mid-fourteenth century, and probably on top of an original from 1252, said to have been completed by the hand of an angel.1 Throughout its history, the fresco underwent several interventions, many of which were removed during a post-World War II restoration. The Morgan drawing departs from its source in a number of ways: it does not include the metal crown now visible on the fresco; it naturalizes the Virgin’s facial features and animates her hair.


  1. Casalini et al. 1987, 78-79, 81, note 2.

Selected references: Los Angeles and Elsewhere 1967-68, no. 50 (as Raffaellino del Garbo); Fellows Report 1989, 341 (as Raffaellino del Garbo).
Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 341.


Watermark: none visible through lining.
The drawing was acquired as by Raffaellino del Garbo (Florence 1466-ca. 1524 Florence). It is a copy of the head of the Virgin in the miraculous image of the Annunciation to the Virgin frescoed in the church Santissima Annunziata, Florence.

Associated names: 

Garbo, Raffaellino del, 1466 or 1476-1524, Formerly attributed to.
Savoy, Dukes of, former owner.
Savoia-Genova, Tommaso di, 1854-1931, former owner.
Scholz, János, former owner.

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