Italian, Cassano Magnago - Young Man, about 1475-1480

Italian, Cassano Magnago

Young Man, about 1475-1480

Tempera on panel, 37.1 x 38.4 x 1.9 cm (14 5/8 x 15 1/8 x 3/4 in.)


Object details

Accession number



Probably created in the last quarter of the 15th century for the Castello di Cassano Magnago (then called Ca' Bianca or Domus Alba), near Milan.
This castle was probably built in the late 13th century for Ottone Visconti (1207-1295), who was archbishop of Milan from 1262 until his death. By the early 17th century, the Dal Pozzo family had taken control of the castle, and in the middle of the 19th century the family began a major renovation of the building. Almost none of the original structure remains.
This panel and thirty-seven others in the Gardner's collection (museum nos. P30c2.1-38) likely decorated a ceiling in the castle, inserted in an inclined position along its support beams. The four coats of arms (museum nos. P30c2.2, .8, .25, and .30), however, were probably placed in the corners of the room, and it is possible that the other panels lined the upper walls of the room, much like their modern installation in the Gardner Museum's Gothic Room.
The paintings were likely removed and sold in several groups in the late nineteenth century. Panels from the Cassano Magnago ceiling exist in several collections. Twenty-eight are in the collection of the Museo del Castello Sforzesco, Milan (Guasconi Bequest, nos. 1076-77, 1082-95); many are dispersed in Italian private collections; and finally one is in the collection of the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore (museum no. 37.1849). The composition of this last panel is nearly identical to one of the Gardner panels, museum no. P30c2.23. The relationship between these panels and the Gardner panels has never been published and is a new discovery. Please see the Related Bibliography for information on the related panel groups as well as the early provenance of the Castello di Cassano Magnago series.
Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the art dealer and restorer Dino Barozzi, Venice for 1,000 lire on 20 September 1899. Gardner acquired the panels to accompany and supplement a similar series of panels acquired in 1888 (museum nos. P30c1.1-30) for display in her Gothic Room.


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:

Federico Zeri. Italian Paintings in the Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore, 1976), pp. 293-94, no. 200. (on the Walters panel and the parent group of panels, as school of Lombardy, possibly Bonifazio Bembo, last quarter of the fifteen century, possibly 1475-1480)

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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.