francesco pesellino - The Triumphs of Fame, Time and Eternity, about 1450

francesco pesellino (Florence, about 1422 - 1457, Florence)

The Triumphs of Fame, Time and Eternity, about 1450

Tempera and gold on panel, 42.5 x 158.1 cm (16 3/4 x 62 1/4 in.) panel

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Object details

Accession number

P15e5.2

Dimension Notes

Frame: 65.7 x 177.6 cm (25 7/8 x 69 15/16 in.) approx.

Provenance

Collection of the art dealer Samuel Woodburn (1783-1853), London. (with museum no. P15e5.1)
Purchased by Campanari at the auction of the late art dealer Samuel Woodburn (1783-1853), London, Christie, Manson & Woods for £52.10s on 9-11 June 1860, lot 17 (as Piero di Cosimo; as "the Return of the Medicis [sic] Family"; with museum no. P15e5.1)
Collection of the Italian paintings collector Rev. Walter Davenport Bromley (d. 1862) (with museum no. P15e5.1)
Purchased by the art dealers Colnaghi & Co., London at the auction of the Italian paintings collector Rev. Walter Davenport Bromley (d. 1862), London, Christie, Manson & Woods for £175.5s on 12 June 1863, lot 72 (as Piero di Cosimo; with museum no. P15e5.1)
Purchased by Mrs. J.F. Austen, Capel Manor, Horsmonden, Kent, from the art dealers Colnaghi & Co., London for about £300 before 1893. (as Piero di Cosimo; with museum no. P15e5.1)
Purchased by the art dealers Colnaghi & Co., London from Mrs. J.F. Austen, Capel Manor, Horsmonden, Kent and the Austen estate for £6,000 on 15 December 1897. (as Pesellino; with museum no. P15e5.1)
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the art dealers Colnaghi & Co., London, through the American art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959), December 1897, for £8,000 (as Pesellino; with museum no. P15e5.1)

Bibliography

Christie, Manson & Woods. Catalogue of the very celebrated & valuable series of capital pictures, by the greatest early Italian Masters, formed under singular advantages, by that distinguished Connoisseur, the late Samuel Woodburn, Esq. (London, 9–11 June 1860), lot 17 (as Pietro di Cosimo; as "The Return of the Medicis [sic] Family")
Christie, Manson & Woods. Catalogue of the celebrated collection of pictures, of the Rev. Walter Davenport Bromley (London, 12-13 June 1863), lot 72 (as Piero di Cosimo)
Exhibition of Early Italian Art from 1300 to 1550. Exh. cat. (Royal Academy of Arts: London, 1893-94), no. 129, ill. (as Piero di Cosimo)
Constanza J. Ffoulkes. "Le esposizioni d'arte italiana a londra." Archivio storio dell'arte 7 (1894), p. 168 (as universally accepted as Pesellino)
Claude Phillips. "Early Italian Art at the New Gallery." The Magazine of Art 17 (1894), p. 146 (as Pesellino)
Werner Weisbach. "Review of Exposition d'objets d'art du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance a Berlin." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 20 (1898), p. 158 (as Pesellino)
Bernard Berenson. The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance with an Index to Their Works, 2nd ed. (New York, 1900), p. 130 (as Pesellino)
Mary Logan [Berenson]. "Compagno di Pesellino et quelques peintures de l'ecole [Part 1]." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 26 (July 1901), p. 18 (as Pesellino)
Werner Weisbach. Francesco Pesellino und die Romantik der Renaissance (Berlin, 1901), pp. 71-83, 129 (as Pesellino)
Catalogue. Fenway Court (Boston, 1903), p. 11. (as Pesellino)
Herbert P. Horne. "Letter to the Editor." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 10 (November 1906), pp. 131-32 (as Pesellino; as formerly in the Woodburn, Davenport Bromley and Austen collections)
William Rankin. "Cassone Fronts in American Collections." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 9 (1906), p. 288. (as Pesellino)
Herbert P. Horne in Werner Weisbach in John La Farge and August F. Jaccaci. Noteworthy Paintings in American Collections 1 (New York, 1907), pp. 133-35. (as Pesellino; as painted on the occasion of the marriage of Piero di Cosimo de' Medici to Lucrezia Tornabuoni in 1448; as listed in the Medici Palace inventory of 1492)
Werner Weisbach in John La Farge and August F. Jaccaci. Noteworthy Paintings in American Collections 1 (New York, 1907), p. 127-29. (as Pesellino)
Paul Schubring. Cassoni: Truhen und Truhenbilder der italienischen Frührenaissance. Ein Beitrag zur Profanmalerei im Quattrocento I (Leipzig, 1915), no. 267. (as Pesellino; as from about 1445)
Frank Jewett Mather. The Portraits of Dante (Princeton, 1921), p. 57, pl. 47. (as Pesellino; as about 1450; as including a portrait of Dante)
E.S.S. "The Miracle of Saint Silvester, Francesco Pesellino, Florentine, 1427-1457." Bulletin of the Worcester Art Museum 17 (April 1926), p. 4. (as Pesellino)
Philip Hendy. Catalogue of Exhibited Paintings and Drawings (Boston, 1931), p. 244-57. (as Pesellino; as painted on the occasion of the marriage of Piero di Cosimo de' Medici to Lucrezia Tornabuoni in 1448; as listed in the Medici Palace inventory of 1492)
Alfred Scharf. "Zur Kunst des Francesco Pesellino." Pantheon (July 1934), pp. 213, 220, ill. (as Pesellino)
Stuart Preston. "The Triumphs of Petrarch" in Alfred M. Frankfurter (ed.). The Gardner Collection (New York, 1946), p. 11. (as Pesellino)
Morris Carter. "Mrs. Gardner & The Treasures of Fenway Court" in Alfred M. Frankfurter (ed.). The Gardner Collection (New York, 1946), p. 58. (as Pesellino)
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: A List of the Principal Artists and Their Works, with an Index of Places. Florentine School 1 (London, 1963), p. 167. (as Pesellino)
Gail Black. “Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 6, no. 27 (3 Mar. 1963), pp. 1-2.
William N. Mason. “Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 6, no. 39 (26 May 1963), pp. 1-2.
George L. Stout. “Repair in Retrospect.” Fenway Court (Nov. 1966), pp. 9-15, ill. 10, 12.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1972), p. 162. (as Pesellino)
Lutz S. Malke. Die Ausbreitung des verschollenen Urbildzyklus der Petrarcatrionfi durch Cassonipaare in Florenz. Unter Berücksichtigung des Gloriatriumphs. PhD diss. (Freie Universität: Berlin, 1972), pp. 102-110. (as Pesellino; as similar to Triumphs by Apollonio di Giovanni)
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 176-78. (as Pesellino; as painted on the occasion of the marriage of Piero di Cosimo de' Medici to Lucrezia Tornabuoni in 1448; as listed in the Medici Palace inventory of 1492)
Rollin van N. Hadley (ed.). The Letters of Bernard Berenson and Isabella Stewart Gardner 1887-1924 (Boston, 1987), pp. 94-95, 105-107, 108-109, 123, 159, 294.
Graham Hughes. Renaissance Cassoni: Masterpieces of Early Italian Art. Painted Marriage Chests 1400-1550 (London, 1997), pp. 96-99, 185, ill. (as Pesellino; as two of the finest paintings illustrating Petrarch's Triumphs)
Edith Wyss. "A 'Triumph of Love' by Frans Francken the Younger; from Allegory to Narrative." Artibus et historiae 19 (1998), pp. 49-50, pl. 8. (as Pesellino)
Karl S. Guthke. The Gender of Death: A Cultural History in Art and Literature (Cambridge, 1999), p. 70, pl. 7
Edith Wyss. "Matthäus Greuter's Engravings for Petrarch's Triumphs." Print Quarterly 17 (December 2000), pp. 348-49, pl. 126b.
Cristelle Baskins. "Triumph: An Introduction" in Cristelle Baskins et al. The Triumph of Marriage: Painted Cassoni of the Renaissance. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Sarasota: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 2009), pp. 4, 10.
Alan Chong. "The American Discovery of Cassone Painting" in Cristelle Baskins et al. The Triumph of Marriage: Painted Cassoni of the Renaissance. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Sarasota: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 2009), pp. 66, 77, 79, 91, 96 (as Pesellino; as purchased from Mrs. Austen by Colnaghi for £6000)
Robert Colby. "Triumphs of Time, Fame and Eternity" in Cristelle Baskins et al. The Triumph of Marriage: Painted Cassoni of the Renaissance. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Sarasota: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 2009), pp. 104-109, no. 4. (as Pesellino; as erroneously linked to the 1448 marriage of Piero di Cosimo de' Medici to Lucrezia Tornabuoni)
Nathaniel Silver. "Creating a Renaissance Painter: Pesellino, Connoisseurship and the Romantik." I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 18 (Fall 2015), pp. 16-20, 26, 33, 36, pl. 7.Christie, Manson & Woods. Catalogue of the very celebrated & valuable series of capital pictures, by the greatest early Italian Masters, formed under singular advantages, by that distinguished Connoisseur, the late Samuel Woodburn, Esq. (London, 9–11 June 1860), lot 17 (as Pietro di Cosimo; as "The Return of the Medicis [sic] Family")
Christie, Manson & Woods. Catalogue of the celebrated collection of pictures, of the Rev. Walter Davenport Bromley (London, 12-13 June 1863), lot 72 (as Piero di Cosimo)
Exhibition of Early Italian Art from 1300 to 1550. Exh. cat. (Royal Academy of Arts: London, 1893-94), no. 129, ill. (as Piero di Cosimo)
Constanza J. Ffoulkes. "Le esposizioni d'arte italiana a londra." Archivio storio dell'arte 7 (1894), p. 168 (as universally accepted as Pesellino)
Claude Phillips. "Early Italian Art at the New Gallery." The Magazine of Art 17 (1894), p. 146 (as Pesellino)
Werner Weisbach. "Review of Exposition d'objets d'art du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance a Berlin." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 20 (1898), p. 158 (as Pesellino)
Bernard Berenson. The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance with an Index to Their Works, 2nd ed. (New York, 1900), p. 130 (as Pesellino)
Mary Logan [Berenson]. "Compagno di Pesellino et quelques peintures de l'ecole [Part 1]." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 26 (July 1901), p. 18 (as Pesellino)
Werner Weisbach. Francesco Pesellino und die Romantik der Renaissance (Berlin, 1901), pp. 71-83, 129 (as Pesellino)
Catalogue. Fenway Court (Boston, 1903), p. 11. (as Pesellino)
Herbert P. Horne. "Letter to the Editor." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 10 (November 1906), pp. 131-32 (as Pesellino; as formerly in the Woodburn, Davenport Bromley and Austen collections)
William Rankin. "Cassone Fronts in American Collections." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 9 (1906), p. 288. (as Pesellino)
Herbert P. Horne in Werner Weisbach in John La Farge and August F. Jaccaci. Noteworthy Paintings in American Collections 1 (New York, 1907), pp. 133-35. (as Pesellino; as painted on the occasion of the marriage of Piero di Cosimo de' Medici to Lucrezia Tornabuoni in 1448; as listed in the Medici Palace inventory of 1492)
Werner Weisbach in John La Farge and August F. Jaccaci. Noteworthy Paintings in American Collections 1 (New York, 1907), p. 127-29. (as Pesellino)
Paul Schubring. Cassoni: Truhen und Truhenbilder der italienischen Frührenaissance. Ein Beitrag zur Profanmalerei im Quattrocento I (Leipzig, 1915), no. 267. (as Pesellino; as from about 1445)
Frank Jewett Mather. The Portraits of Dante (Princeton, 1921), p. 57, pl. 47. (as Pesellino; as about 1450; as including a portrait of Dante)
E.S.S. "The Miracle of Saint Silvester, Francesco Pesellino, Florentine, 1427-1457." Bulletin of the Worcester Art Museum 17 (April 1926), p. 4. (as Pesellino)
Philip Hendy. Catalogue of Exhibited Paintings and Drawings (Boston, 1931), p. 244-57. (as Pesellino; as painted on the occasion of the marriage of Piero di Cosimo de' Medici to Lucrezia Tornabuoni in 1448; as listed in the Medici Palace inventory of 1492)
Alfred Scharf. "Zur Kunst des Francesco Pesellino." Pantheon (July 1934), pp. 213, 220, ill. (as Pesellino)
Stuart Preston. "The Triumphs of Petrarch" in Alfred M. Frankfurter (ed.). The Gardner Collection (New York, 1946), p. 11. (as Pesellino)
Morris Carter. "Mrs. Gardner & The Treasures of Fenway Court" in Alfred M. Frankfurter (ed.). The Gardner Collection (New York, 1946), p. 58. (as Pesellino)
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: A List of the Principal Artists and Their Works, with an Index of Places. Florentine School 1 (London, 1963), p. 167. (as Pesellino)
Gail Black. “Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 6, no. 27 (3 Mar. 1963), pp. 1-2.
William N. Mason. “Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 6, no. 39 (26 May 1963), pp. 1-2.
George L. Stout. “Repair in Retrospect.” Fenway Court (Nov. 1966), pp. 9-15, ill. 10, 12.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1972), p. 162. (as Pesellino)
Lutz S. Malke. Die Ausbreitung des verschollenen Urbildzyklus der Petrarcatrionfi durch Cassonipaare in Florenz. Unter Berücksichtigung des Gloriatriumphs. PhD diss. (Freie Universität: Berlin, 1972), pp. 102-110. (as Pesellino; as similar to Triumphs by Apollonio di Giovanni)
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 176-78. (as Pesellino; as painted on the occasion of the marriage of Piero di Cosimo de' Medici to Lucrezia Tornabuoni in 1448; as listed in the Medici Palace inventory of 1492)
Rollin van N. Hadley (ed.). The Letters of Bernard Berenson and Isabella Stewart Gardner 1887-1924 (Boston, 1987), pp. 94-95, 105-107, 108-109, 123, 159, 294.
Graham Hughes. Renaissance Cassoni: Masterpieces of Early Italian Art. Painted Marriage Chests 1400-1550 (London, 1997), pp. 96-99, 185, ill. (as Pesellino; as two of the finest paintings illustrating Petrarch's Triumphs)
Edith Wyss. "A 'Triumph of Love' by Frans Francken the Younger; from Allegory to Narrative." Artibus et historiae 19 (1998), pp. 49-50, pl. 8. (as Pesellino)
Karl S. Guthke. The Gender of Death: A Cultural History in Art and Literature (Cambridge, 1999), p. 70, pl. 7
Edith Wyss. "Matthäus Greuter's Engravings for Petrarch's Triumphs." Print Quarterly 17 (December 2000), pp. 348-49, pl. 126b.
Cristelle Baskins. "Triumph: An Introduction" in Cristelle Baskins et al. The Triumph of Marriage: Painted Cassoni of the Renaissance. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Sarasota: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 2009), pp. 4, 10.
Alan Chong. "The American Discovery of Cassone Painting" in Cristelle Baskins et al. The Triumph of Marriage: Painted Cassoni of the Renaissance. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Sarasota: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 2009), pp. 66, 77, 79, 91, 96 (as Pesellino; as purchased from Mrs. Austen by Colnaghi for £6000)
Robert Colby. "Triumphs of Time, Fame and Eternity" in Cristelle Baskins et al. The Triumph of Marriage: Painted Cassoni of the Renaissance. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Sarasota: The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 2009), pp. 104-109, no. 4. (as Pesellino; as erroneously linked to the 1448 marriage of Piero di Cosimo de' Medici to Lucrezia Tornabuoni)
Nathaniel Silver. "Creating a Renaissance Painter: Pesellino, Connoisseurship and the Romantik." I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 18 (Fall 2015), pp. 16-20, 26, 33, 36, pl. 7.


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Commentary

In characteristic fashion, Bernard Berenson paid court to his patron, complimented her discernment, and spurred her acquisitiveness and rivalry with other collectors. Gardner was indeed lucky to get the two Pesellino panels since in the latter half of the nineteenth century, dealers and collectors had raised the demand for Renaissance painted wedding furniture. The cassone panels feature five parade floats, forming a grand procession that culminates in a celestial vision of God at the end of time. The imagery derives from Petrarch’s fourteenth-century allegorical poem, The Triumphs of Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and Eternity. In his letters to Gardner, Berenson singled out the final tableau for praise, but he referred to it as the triumph of Religion rather than Eternity; presumably this substitution of titles was calculated to appeal to Gardner’s deepening piety. Religious sentiment mingled with courtly love proved irresistible, so it’s no wonder that Berenson also deliberately tailored his description of the first panel to include the triumph of “Chivalry” rather than Petrarch’s more conventional Fame. With such coded language, Isabella Stewart Gardner and Bernard Berenson shaped history through imagination and fantasy; they engaged with the Renaissance past through scholarship, research, and travel, but they also enjoyed the role-playing of a good costume drama!

Source: Cristelle Baskins, "'Rare and Wonderful' Marriage Pictures," in Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 64-67.

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