Virgin and Child with SS. Dominic and Barbara

Download image: 
Francesco Francia
approximately 1450-1517
Bologna, Italy, 15th to 16th century.
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 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1907.
AZ025
Inscription: 
The wood label on bottom center of frame reads, "Francesco Raibolini, called Francia".
Provenance: 
Prince Eugène de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg, Munich; Leuchtenberg Gallery, St. Petersburg (according to Sulley invoice); Sulley & Co., London; from whom purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan, 15 March 1907.
Notes: 

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. St. Barbara is shown with a martyr's palm and a model of the tower in which her pagan father imprisoned her, while St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican order, wears his black and white habit and holds a lily and a book. When Francia painted the present panel, he was influenced by the luminous style of his contemporary Perugino, another artist represented in Morgan's study.

Summary: 

The Virgin and Child with S. Dominic at her right and Saint Barbara at her left. St. Barbara is holding an arrow and a tower. S. Dominic holds a lily and a book. He wears the religious garb of the Domenican order.
The lily may signify St. Dominic's purity while the tower represents St. Barbara's martyrdom, her incarceration by her father.

Century: 
Classification: 
Department: