Italian, Crema - Woman, about 1500

Italian, Crema

Woman, about 1500

Tempera on panel, 36 x 40.8 x 3.9 cm (14 3/16 x 16 1/16 x 1 9/16 in.)


Object details

Accession number



Likely created around 1500 for a room in Palazzo Vimercati, Crema (now the Banca Popolare di Crema, on Via Civerchi). The panels were probably inserted in an inclined position along the support beams of a ceiling. Panels depicting coats of arms would have been placed in the center of each beam with profile portraits on each side.
The panels were possibly removed soon after 1870, when the Vimercati palace became the headquarters of the Banca Popolare Agricola di Mutuo Credito (now the Banca Popolare di Crema).
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the art dealer Antonio Marcato, Venice for 1,200 lire (with an additional 60 lire for repairs) on 16 July 1888.
Ninety-eight of the Vimercati palace ceiling panels were acquired by the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan from the Banca Popolare di Crema following the Second World War (museum nos. 4380-477). Several panels from the Poldi Pezzoli group are nearly identical to panels in the Gardner group. The relationship between the two groups has never been published and is a new discovery. Please see the Related Bibliography for information on the Poldi Pezzoli panels as well as the early provenance of both groups.


Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 276. (Italian, 15th century)
Betty Chamberlain. “Gothic Room” in Alfred M. Frankfurter (ed). The Gardner Collection (New York: The Art Foundation, Inc., 1946), p. 7. (as Italian, 15th century)
Hilliard Goldfarb. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: A Companion Guide and History (Boston, 1995), p. 135.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Guide to the Collection (Boston, 1997), p. 117. (as North Italian, 15th century)
Stanislo G. Pugliese. “Renaissance Portraits from Italy.” Past Exhibitions. Hofstra University Museum, Hempstead, New York, accessed 2014.

Related bibliography:

Winifred Terni di Gregory. Pittura artigiana lombarda del Rinascimento (Milan, 1958), pp. 56, 58, 63, 153. (on panels in the parent group, still in situ in Crema)
Alessandra Mottola Molfino. Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Musei e Gallerie di Milano: Dipinti (Milan, 1982), p. 75, no. 14. (on the parent group and the Poldi Pezzoli panels, as School of Cremona, about 1500)
Alessandra Mottola Molfino et al. (eds.). The Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan: Visitors' Guide (Milan, 2000), pp. 52-53. (on the parent group and the Poldi Pezzoli panels, as Cremona School, about 1500)

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Isabella Stewart Gardner kept meticulous records of many of her acquisitions. In keeping with this legacy, object information is continually being reviewed, updated, and enriched in order to give greater access to the collection.