Virgin and Child Blessing a Kneeling Donor, with Four Saints

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Attributed to Marco Bello
Venice, Italy, ca. 1500.
Tempera on panel, transferred to canvas
29 1/2 x 43 inches (768 x 1127 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910.

Attributed to Marco Bello, a member of Bellini's prolific Venetian workshop, this painting was likely based on different models developed by the master. This would account for the lack of consistency in scale and placement in space of the beautifully conceived figures. The saints depicted include (left to right) Paul, George, an unidentified female saint, and an unidentified martyr, perhaps St. Cecilia, with a wreath and palm. The devotional subject and presence of a donor portrait indicate that this was a private commission.

Cardinal Rezzonico, Venice; Antonio Canova; Bishop Canova (brother to the artist); James Alexander, count Pourtalès-Gorgier, Paris; Salamanca collection, Spain; Seilliere collection, Paris; sale Galerie Georges Petit, 5 May 1890; Marquis de la Ganay, Paris; Charles Fairfax Murray[?]; Charles Davis, London; Thomas Agnew & Sons, London; from whom purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan in 1910.