Giovanni Bellini - Virgin with the Sleeping Child on a Parapet, about 1470-1475

Giovanni Bellini (Venice, about 1431-1436 - 1516, Venice)

The Virgin with the Sleeping Child on a Parapet, about 1470-1475

Tempera on poplar panel, 62 x 42.3 cm (24 7/16 x 16 5/8 in.) panel


Object details

Accession number



Collection of Prince Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen by 1893 though not exhibited in his museum at Sigmaringen. (see Harck, 1893).
Purchased by Böhler, Munich from Prince Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen before 1912. (see Venturi, 1915; he refers to it as being in America)
Purchased by the art dealers Henry Reinhardt & Son, New York from Böhler by 1912.
Purchased by Robert Sterling Clark from Reinhardt & Son, New York in November 1912 for $70,000. Traded back to Reinhardt because Clark was dissatisfied with the condition of the painting.
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from Henry Reinhardt & Son, New York on 10 May 1921 for $50,000 through Bernard Berenson (1865–1959), American art historian and the New York dealer Walter P. Fearon (d.1935).


Signed by the artist in a cartouche in the parapet (the first two letters restored by a later hand): IO[A]NNES BELLIN / VS P. The banderole with signature is original.


Fritz Harck. "Quadri Italiani nelle gallerie private di Germania." Archivio Storico dell'Arte, VI (1893), p. 389
A. Venturi. Storia dell'Arte Italiana, VII, 4 (Milan, 1915), p. 266.
Philip Hendy. Catalogue of Exhibited Paintings and Drawings (Boston, 1931), pp. 37-40. (as 1460-1470)
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 112.
Rollin Hadley. “Notes, Records, Comments.” Gardner Museum Calendar of Events 7, no. 40 (31 May 1964), p. 2.
Giles Robertson. Giovanni Bellini (Oxford, 1968), pp. 60, 78, pl. XLIII b.
Renato Giotto and Terisio Pignatti. L'opera completa di Giovanni Bellini (Milan, 1969), p. 89, no. 35.
Burton B. Frederickson and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, 1972), p. 22.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), pp. 19-20.
Rollin van N. Hadley (ed.). The Letters of Bernard Berenson and Isabella Stewart Gardner 1887-1924 (Boston, 1987), pp. 586, 626-28, 631-32, 636-37.
Rona Goffen. Giovanni Bellini (New Haven and London, 1989), pp. 37, 41, 287, 298, fig. 23.
Hilliard Goldfarb et al. Italian Paintings and Drawings Before 1800 in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Unpublished manuscript. (Boston, 1996-2000). (as early 1470s)
James A. Ganz. "From Paris to Williamstown: Robert Sterling Clark's Life as a Collector" in Michael Conforti et al. The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings. Ex. cat. (Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2006), pp. 44-45, 118, fig. 48.

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Giovanni Bellini

Christ Carrying the Cross