This exhibition has been organized by Linda Wolk-Simon, associate curator in the museum's department of drawings and prints, in collaboration with Keith Christiansen, curator in its department of European paintings. It traces its evolution in the altarpiece through Raphael's drawings and preparatory studies and works of the artists he learned from, including Perugino, a formative influence, and Fra Bartolommeo, the dominant artist in Florence in the early 1500's. There is one brilliant drawing by the inescapable Leonardo that is arguably the most intense work, inch for inch, in the exhibition.
Also on hand are two predella panels from an altarpiece that Raphael painted in 1501-2. Their crowded compositions accent the relative spare, spacious compositions of the Colonna predella images, and a predella panel of a Resurrection by Perugino from the 1490's indicates a source of that spaciousness.
The altarpiece was both conservative and forward looking in ways that reflect the working conditions of the Renaissance, in particular the desires of the client. The clothing on the Christ Child and the infant John the Baptist was probably dictated by the convent, as was the Gothic gold on the base of the Madonna's throne, her black, stippled robe and the textile hanging behind her head. In the lunette God is surrounded by a flat, heavy blue; dark ribbons flutter vivaciously around him in the manner of Perugino. The sleeves of the angels flanking God are highlighted with contrasting colors to indicate shadow and volume, an effect also visible in Perugino's full-length life-size painting of St. John in the first gallery; the saint's brown habit is highlighted, beautifully, but startlingly, with lavender.
And yet the central panel is another story: the sky is a white-to-blue fathomless space, and the thoughtful dignity, monumental stasis and sculptural yet solid-colored robes of Peter and Paul indicate an awareness of Michelangelo's latest innovations. In this panel especially, Raphael's light and space radiate with full force, and his colors dance. Saturated shades of red, yellow, blue and green rotate in changing pairs, among the robes and garments of the figures in the central panel and the small predella images.
So how did the altarpiece end up in pieces? It stayed put in Perugia until 1663, when the convent, deeply in debt, sold the five small panels of the predella. Matters did not improve, and in 1677 the altarpiece's large central panel and lunette were also sold. And so this work became telling in another way. Divided, it moved through history like a series of barium tests through the body, accumulating a stupendous collective provenance and providing localized illuminations of the effects of war, revolution, greed, aesthetic passion and, of course, death. The owners came and went, but the panels kept moving.
Rare catalogs of auctions and princely collections highlight the altarpiece's post-convent progress, as do engravings of various owners. The five predella panels stayed together until 1798, when they appeared in a famous London auction that introduced the English public to Italian Renaissance painting. (The sometime art critic William Hazlitt wrote ecstatically that the scales had fallen from his eyes.) By the early 1800's the small, full-length images of St. Francis and St. Anthony had entered the collection of the Dulwich Gallery near London.
The central panel and lunette spent more than a century in the collection of the Colonna family in Rome — hence the name — and then nearly as long in the hands of the Spanish Bourbon kings of Naples and the two Sicilies. Between 1860 and 1896 they were famously and unsuccessfully for sale, sent on approval to the Louvre and the National Gallery in London and then stored ignominiously in the South Kensington Museum. Finally they were purchased by the British dealer Martin Colnaghi, whose descendants remain active in the art business, and soon sold to Jacques Sedelmeyer, a French dealer.
Isabella Stewart Gardner considered buying the central panel and lunette, but Bernard Berenson advised against it. Morgan bought them in 1901, without benefit of a consultant, the first time he saw them. He paid two million francs, a record at the time. By then Mrs. Gardner had settled on a different part of the altarpiece (with Berenson's approval): the predella's Pietà. The predella's elongated Procession to Calvary entered the collection of the National Gallery in London in 1913.
This exhibition illuminates the enduring proximity of art and money, which lately has been lamented as if invented last spring by young, opportunistic art-school graduates. And the strangest thing is that except for two small sins of omission committed nearly 350 years ago, none of it might have happened. Each time the Franciscan sisters wrote to the Vatican for permission, in contemporary lingo, to deaccession, they neglected to mention that the altarpiece was by Raphael. Had they been more forthcoming, permission might have been denied and the altarpiece still intact and peacefully on display in either the Vatican Museum in Rome or the National Gallery of Umbria in Perugia. It houses an altarpiece by Piero della Francesca once owned by the convent — still whole.Continue reading the main story
Raphael’s painting of the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints and the lunette of God the Father with two Angels and two Seraphim are the two principal panels of an altarpiece carried out about 1504–5 for the Franciscan convent of Sant’Antonio da Padova in Perugia and mentioned by Giorgio Vasari (1568) in his Vita of the artist. Although there is now no date on the altarpiece, when G. F. Waagen (1838) saw the painting in the mid-nineteenth century he recorded a date of 1505. It has often been referred to as the Colonna Altarpiece, reflecting the name of the Roman family that purchased the panels sometime after 1689 (for information on the provenance of the altarpiece and its predella panels see Wolk-Simon 2006). The complete altarpiece (see Additional Images, fig. 1) included a predella with three scenes from the Passion of Christ—The Agony in the Garden (also in the Museum’s collection, 32.130.1), The Procession to Calvary (National Gallery, London), and the Pietà (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston)—and two panels depicting Saints Francis of Assisi and Anthony of Padua (Dulwich Picture Gallery, London) that flanked the predella (Venturi 1927 and Fahy 1978), forming the bases of the columns of its original frame.
Monies for the commission derived from a bequest made to the convent in 1478 that specified the creation of a painting and its frame for the chiesa interna or inner church, open only to the cloistered nuns. The chiesa esterna, or outer, public church, had already been decorated with an important painting, Piero della Francesca’s Sant’Antonio Polyptych (Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, Perugia). Raphael’s altarpiece was installed on the center wall of the simple polygonal choir and was illuminated from a series of windows along the right wall of the church; the direction of the light in the painting follows the actual source of the light.
In the main panel the artist has depicted the Virgin and Child enthroned on a carefully planned and elaborate throne with a baldacchino; Christ is seated on the Virgin’s lap and blesses the young Saint John the Baptist, who stands on the base of the throne. The four saints gathered around the throne are Peter, Catherine, an unidentified female saint (thought by Vasari to represent Cecilia, but who has also been described as Saints Barbara, Lucy, Rosa of Viterbo, and Dorothy), and Paul. Behind them is an extensive landscape whose details at the right, including a building with a tower, were worked out in a drawing on the verso of a sheet now in the Ashmolean Museum (Ferino-Pagden 1981). The care with which Raphael developed this detail in the drawing, and also in the underdrawing on the panel, suggests that it may be a symbolic tower, possibly the attribute of Saint Barbara (Wolk-Simon 2006, p. 29). In the graceful lunette above, Raphael has depicted a blessing God the Father holding the globe and surrounded by two angels with fluttering ribbons and two seraphim with putti-like heads.
The artist began the painting while he was living in Perugia, and much of its design reflects the work of Umbrian artists, especially Perugino (with whom he may have studied or collaborated) and Pinturicchio. The former’s influence may be seen most especially in the lunette, whose composition relates to that in the lunette of Perugino’s polyptych for the church of San Pietro in Perugia (now Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyons), dated 1496. Pinturicchio’s influence may be seen in some of the ornamentation of the clothing—such as the patterns of gold stippling on the Virgin’s mantle—and of the architecture. The conservative depiction of the clothed Christ Child, which Vasari says was requested by the nuns, and the unusual ornament on the shoulder of Christ’s gown are also found in Pinturicchio’s work, as in a Madonna and Child of about 1490–95 (Philadelphia Museum of Art). There has never been an explanation for the particular design of the shoulder patch.
It has long been surmised that some time passed between Raphael’s initial work on the altarpiece and its completion, and that the strikingly monumental and modern appearance of Saints Peter and Paul reflect his first lengthy foray to Florence from October 1504 and therefore his discovery of the paintings of Fra Bartolomeo and Leonardo da Vinci (Crowe and Cavalcaselle 1882). The altarpiece thus documents a moment of transition between Raphael’s earliest works, in a recognizably Umbrian vein, and his next major Perugian altarpiece, the so-called Ansidei Madonna (National Gallery, London), also of 1505, that already demonstrates the style that he would further develop at the time of his definitive move to Florence. When the Metropolitan Museum’s altarpiece was begun is open to debate. Zeri (1980) believed it started before 1504, and Oberhuber (1977) and Penny (1996) believed that it was begun considerably earlier, perhaps as early as 1501. The suggestion for such a long period of gestation has not been taken up by the most recent authors.
A trio of drawings, including that mentioned above, can be connected to Raphael’s elaboration of this composition. A Standing Male Nude (British Museum, London) may be a study for the figure of Saint Peter, and a Standing Bearded Saint (Szépmúvészeti Múzeum, Budapest) may be a study for the figure of Saint Paul (for these see Wolk-Simon 2006, figs. 39, 40). (Two other drawings, in Lille and Oxford, once thought to be related to the composition of the lunette probably are not connected to this composition; see Zeri and Gardner 1980, p. 73). However, a detailed technical examination in 2005 using infrared reflectography has revealed varied underdrawing and has enhanced our understanding of Raphael’s preparation of the panels (see Additional Images, figs. 2–7). The figure of the Child was laid in with extensive and assured freehand drawing, probably in metalpoint, that includes all the details of the costume. Two diagonal lines that meet at the top of his left wrist mark the exact center of the panel, a type of calculation often found in Raphael’s underdrawings. The Madonna’s mantle was carried out with a brush, the drawing suggesting the fall of light over the drapery, and both the heads and feet of Peter and Paul were drawn with a sensitive line that describes both contour and volume. The heads of the two female saints, by contrast, were drawn with outlines that are mechanically traced or incised from cartoons, perhaps put in by a studio assistant. The architecture of the throne was actually laid in before the figures, demonstrating the artist’s focus on this complex, stepped structure, and the shadow cast by Paul across its base was also marked out in advance. The underdrawing reveals that the position of the architecture and figures in space was of primary importance. Finally, as mentioned previously, the small detail of the building with its tower and nearby timbered farmhouse in the landscape behind the female saint at right, already thought through in the drawing in Oxford, is drawn again on the panel.
The later history of the panels, as they moved from the Colonna family in Rome to that of the Bourbon Kings of Naples and the Two Sicilies, and then to Paris and London before being purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan, has been explored in detail by Wolk-Simon in the exhibition devoted to the altarpiece held in 2006. Its early impact is documented in two contemporary versions by local artists (who may have seen the painting in Raphael’s workshop): Francesco da Città di Castello (called Il Tifernate)’s Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Alexandria with Saints Agostino, Nicholas of Tolentino, and Florido (Pinacoteca Comunale, Città di Castello; see Additional Images, fig. 8) and Sinibaldo Ibi’s Madonna and Child with Saints of 1509 (Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, Perugia). That it was not always believed to be a work of the highest quality is shown by Virginia Woolf’s (1940) quotation of a remark made by the critic Roger Fry that he had seen the painting in 1907 and not been surprised that it had languished for a time on the market, "because no one would buy it and no one wanted to look at it." Today, the altarpiece is recognized to be an impressive and moving example of an important period in Raphael’s life and artistic development.
The altarpiece has been seen in three frames since it entered the Museum’s collection. The first was replaced with one designed in 1936, at a time when the altarpiece was installed in the gallery at the top of the great stairs and its conspicuous location factored into the decision to change what was by then considered an unsatisfactory frame. Then in the 1970s the current frame, roughly contemporary with the painting, was prepared for it, including the removal of two columns (sometimes thought to be carved by Antonio Barili) from its decoration (for views of all three frames, see Additional Images, figs. 9–11). The altarpiece was restored most recently in 1977 (see Brealey 1977).
[Andrea Bayer 2013]
the convent of Sant'Antonio da Padova, Perugia (until 1678; sold to Bigazzini); conte Giovanni Antonio Bigazzini, Rome (from 1678); Colonna family, Palazzo Colonna, Rome (from shortly after 1678, until 1798; inv., 1714, no. 653; cat., 1783, no. 130); [Alexander Day, Rome, until 1802/3; sold through Venuti to Ferdinand I]; Ferdinand I, King of Naples and the two Sicilies, Naples and Palermo (1802/3–d. 1825); Francis I, King of Naples and the two Sicilies, Palazzo Reale, Naples (1825–d. 1830); Ferdinand II, King of Naples and the two Sicilies, Palazzo Reale, Naples (1830–d. 1859); Francis II, King of Naples and the two Sicilies, Palazzo Reale, Naples (1859–60) and Gaeta (1860–61), and as duca di Castro, Madrid (1861–d. 1894; on loan to the Musée du Louvre, Paris, in 1870; subsequently on loan to the National Gallery, London; his estate, 1894–96; sold to Colnaghi); [Martin Colnaghi, London, 1896; sold to Sedelmeyer]; [Sedelmeyer, Paris, 1896–1901; cat., 1896, no. 75; sold for Fr 2,000,000 to Morgan]; J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (1901–d. 1913; on loan to the National Gallery, London, 1901–13; his estate, 1913–16; unnumbered cat., 1907)
Paris. Sedelmeyer. June 1901, no. ? [see Guiffrey 1901].
London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Winter Exhibition," January 6–March 15, 1902, no. 85 (lent by J. Pierpont Morgan).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Collection of Paintings lent by J. Pierpont Morgan," 1913, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of the J. Pierpont Morgan Collection," February 17, 1914–May 28, 1916, unnumbered cat. (p. 51).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art Treasures of the Metropolitan," November 7, 1952–September 7, 1953, no. 90.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 15, 1970–February 15, 1971, no. 212.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Raphael at the Metropolitan: The Colonna Altarpiece," June 20–September 4, 2006, nos. 1A, 1B.
Giorgio Vasari. Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori. Ed. Gaetano Milanesi. 1906 ed. Florence, 1568, vol. 4, p. 324, attributes the altarpiece to Raphael, stating that it was painted for the nuns of Sant'Antonio da Padova, Perugia; describes the central panel, the lunette, and the three narrative panels of the predella; identifies the female saint on the right as Cecilia; states that Christ is depicted clothed to please the nuns.
Raffaello Borghini. Il riposo. Florence, 1584, pp. 386–87.
Giovanni Battista Baldozzi. Document. June 7, 1663 [Archivio notarile di Perugia], details the sale of the predella.
M. A. Fontaiuti. Document (Archivio notarile di Perugia). January 8, 1678, details the sale of the central panel and lunette to Antonio Bigazzini; identifies the female saint on the right as Margaret.
M. A. Fontaiuti. Document (Archivio notarile di Perugia). June 18, 1678, details the receipt of the copy.
Gio. Franc. Morelli. Brevi notizie delle pitture, e sculture che adornano l'augusta citta di Perugia. repr. 1973. Perugia, 1683, p. 23.
Inventario di tutti l'Effetti tanto in Roma Stato Ecclesiastico, e Regno trovati in Essere doppo la Morte della Ch: me: dell'Ecc. Sig.re D. Filippo Colonna defonto li 6 Nov.re 1714. December 15, 1714–February 26, 1716, ff. 180–81, no.  [Archivio Colonna, Subiaco; III Q B 29; published in Safarik 1996; Getty no. I-77], as "Un quadro dj misura dj palmi sette per ogni verso con sopra un mezzo ovato in forma di tabernacolo rapp.te la Madonna col Bambino S. Gio: S. Pietro, e S. Paolo con due altre sante con sopra il Padre Eterno, e due Angeli, e due Cherubini originale dj raffaele d'urbino con sua cornice con fondo color dj noce, e riporti, e festoni intagliati dorati Ereditario dj d.a Chia: me: D. Filippo".
Antologia romana 3 (1776), p. 123 [see Ref. Mariotti 1788].
Catalogo dei quadri, e pitture esistenti nel Palazzo dell'eccellentissima Casa Colonna in Roma. Rome, 1783, p. 22, no. 130.
Annibale Mariotti. Lettere pittoriche perugine o sia ragguaglio di alcune memorie istoriche risguardanti le arti del disegno in Perugia al Signor Baldassare Orsini. Perugia, 1788, pp. 125–26 n. 2, discusses the sale of the various parts of the altarpiece, with reference to the original documents [see Refs. Baldozzi 1663 and Fontaiuti 1678].
Angelo Comolli. Vita inedita di Raffaello da Urbino. Rome, 1790, pp. 15–16 n. 23.
J. B. L. G. Seroux d'Agincourt. Histoire de l'art par les monumens. Paris, 1823, vol. 3, p. 171; vol. 6, pl. CLXXXII, states incorrectly that it is still in the Colonna collection, Rome; compares it with Perugino's altarpiece of 1493 in the Uffizi, Florence; dates both works to the end of the fifteenth century.
Quatremère de Quincy. Histoire de la vie et des ouvrages de Raphaël. Paris, 1824, pp. 28–29, refers to the altarpiece as lost.
Quatremère de Quincy. Istoria della vita e delle opere di Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino. Ed. Francesco Longhena. Milan, 1829, pp. 44–45 n. *, Longhena notes that the central panel of the altarpiece passed from the Colonna gallery to the royal collection at Naples.
G. K. Nagler. Rafael als Mensch und Künstler. Munich, 1836, pp. 53–54, dates it 1505 or possibly slightly earlier.
G. K. Nagler. Handbuch der Geschichte der Malerei in Italien. 1837, p. 206 [see Ref. Zeri and Gardner 1980].
G[ustav]. F[riedrich]. Waagen. Works of Art and Artists in England. London, 1838, vol. 3, p. 141, dates it 1505.
G[ustav]. F[riedrich]. Waagen. Kunstwerke und Künstler in England und Paris. Vol. 2, Kunstwerke und Künstler in England. Berlin, 1838, p. 352.
J. D. Passavant. Rafael von Urbino und sein Vater Giovanni Santi. Vol. 1, Leipzig, 1839, p. 87, identifies the female saint on the right as Rosalie.
J. D. Passavant. Rafael von Urbino und sein Vater Giovanni Santi. Vol. 2, Leipzig, 1839, pp. 39–43, no. 31, believes the altarpiece was begun in 1504, before Raphael's trip to Urbino, and completed the following year; considers the lunette to have been painted before the central panel.
Seroux d'Agincourt. Denkmäler der Malerei. Vol. 3, 1840, p. 153, pl. CLXXXII [see Ref. Wehle 1940].
Giovanni Rosini. Storia della pittura italiana esposta coi monumenti. Vol. 4, Pisa, 1843, pp. 55, 59 n. 32, dates it to the same year as the Baglioni Deposition, now in the Galleria Borghese, Rome (dated 1507); identifies the female saint on the right as Margaret.
G. K. Nagler. Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon. Vol. 14, Munich, 1845, pp. 301–2, identifies the female saint on the right as Rosalia.
Charles Lock Eastlake. Contributions to the Literature of the Fine Arts. London, 1848, p. 218, as completed in 1505 but probably begun some time before then.
J. D. Passavant. Rafael von Urbino und sein Vater Giovanni Santi. Vol. 3, Leipzig, 1858, p. 90, mentions lithographs after the lunette by Deluise and Ludwig Ritter; also notes a study for God the Father in the Musée Wicar, Lille.
J.-D. Passavant. Raphael d'Urbin et son père Giovanni Santi. Paris, 1860, vol. 1, p. 71; vol. 2, pp. 27–28, 30, no. 25, p. 481, under no. 373, states that the style of some of the figures indicates that the altarpiece must have been begun before 1504/5; identifies the female saint on the right as Dorothy.
Franz Kugler. Handbuch der Geschichte der Malerei seit Constantin dem Grossen. Vol. 2, Die italienische Kunst des XV. u. XVI Jahrhunderts. 3rd ed. Leipzig, 1867, pp. 182–83, identifies the female saint on the right as Dorothy; states that the altarpiece was completed in 1505 but probably begun some time before then.
Ernst Förster. Raphael. Vol. 1, Leipzig, 1867, pp. 185–86, 231–33, identifies the female saint on the right as either Dorothy or Rosalie.
J[ohn]. C[harles]. Robinson. A Critical Account of the Drawings by Michel Angelo and Raffaello in the University Galleries, Oxford. Oxford, 1870, p. 146, under no. 30, tentatively identifies the drawing now in Lille, and another now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, as studies for the figure of God the Father in the lunette.
John Ruskin Oxford University. Lecture. February 10, 1872 [published in Ref. Ruskin 1906], calls it "perhaps, the most interesting picture by Raphael in the world, and, certainly, one of the most beautiful works ever produced by the art-wisdom of man" and notes that it is being offered for sale for £25,000.
John Ruskin. Letter. December 31, 1873 [published in the "Liverpool Daily Post," January 3, 1874; reprinted in "Arrows of the Chace," London, 1908, pp. 512–13], urges the city of Liverpool to buy this picture.
"Documenti per completare la storia di alcune otere di Raffaello già esistenti nell'Umbria: Serie seconda, sulla vendita della tavola del monastero di S. Antonio da Padova di Perugia." Giornale di erudizione artistica 3 (September 1874), pp. 304–15, publishes the documents concerning the sale of the altarpiece [see Refs. Baldozzi 1663 and Fontaiuti 1678].
Paliard. "Le Raphaël d'un million." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 16 (September 1877), pp. 259–64, ill. (engraving), states that it was exhibited at the Louvre in 1870, at which time the owner, M. Bermudez de Castro, duc de Ripaldo, asked the price of a million francs; dates it about 1504; gives a detailed account of the history of ownership; mentions articles in the press from the time of its exhibition at the Louvre; states that Raphael derived the composition from a similar altarpiece painted by Bernardino di Mariotto for the convent of Saint Francis, Perugia (now Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia), which he dates no later than 1498; identifies the female saint on the right as Cecilia.
Louis Gonse. Le Musée Wicar. Paris, 1878, p. 80, under no. 697, identifies the Lille drawing as a study for the God the Father in the lunette of the altarpiece [but see Ref. Zeri and Gardner 1980, p. 73].
Gaetano Milanesi, ed. Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori.. By Giorgio Vasari. Vol. 4, 1906 ed. Florence, 1879, pp. 324–25 n. 2, identifies the female saint on the right as Margaret; gives the ownership history of each part of the altarpiece mentioned by Vasari, plus the two predella panels depicting Saints Francis and Anthony.
Eugène Muntz. Raphaël: sa vie, son oeuvre et son temps. Paris, 1881, pp. 212, 215–16, ill. p. 213 (engraving), dates it 1504–5; accepts Paliard's [see Ref. 1877] proposal relating the altarpiece to that by Bernardino di Mariotto; states that the two central parts of the altarpiece have been on loan to the National Gallery, London, for several years.
Eugène Muntz. Raphael: His Life, Works, and Times. London, 1882, pp. 196, 205–6, 209–10, ill. p. 207 (engraving).
J[oseph]. A[rcher]. Crowe and G[iovanni]. B[attista]. Cavalcaselle. Raphael: His Life and Works. Vol. 1, London, 1882, pp. 217–22, 224, 235–36, state that Raphael must have begun the altarpiece before his trip to Florence in 1504 and completed it after his return in 1505; identify the female saint on the right as Margaret; reject Paliard's [see Ref. 1877] theory on the relationship between this altarpiece and the one by Bernardino di Mariotto, believing that Bernardino's was derived from Raphael's rather than vice versa.
Herman Grimm. Das Leben Raphael's. Berlin, 1886, pp. 257–58, as in London and in bad condition; mentions a copy at Sanssouci [see Ref. Potsdam 1969].
"Raphael's Great Madonna." World (January 11, 1886), p. ?, as on deposit at the National Gallery, London.
Alfred Woltmann and Karl Woermann. History of Painting. Vol. 2, The Painting of the Renascence. London, 1887, p. 534.
W[oldemar]. v[on]. Seidlitz. "Winterausstellung der Londner Akademie 1893." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 16 (1893), p. 232.
Anton Springer. Raffael und Michelangelo. 3rd ed. Leipzig, 1895, vol. 1, pp. 75–77, as on deposit at the National Gallery from the collection of the duke of Ripalda; identifies the female saint on the right as Dorothy; notes the influence of Leonardo and Fra Bartolomeo.
Illustrated Catalogue of the Third Series of 100 Paintings by Old Masters . . . Paris, 1896, pp. 94–99, no. 75, ill.
Bernard Berenson. Letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner. November 9, 1897, discourages Mrs. Gardner from buying the altarpiece from Sedelmeyer, stating that it is a product more of the workshop than of the master himself, that it is in bad condition and has been repaired to such an extent that almost none of the original painting remains, and that the composition is not up to Raphael's highest standards.
G. Magherini Graziani. L'arte a Città di Castello. Città di Castello, 1897, pp. 174–75, believes that Raphael derived the composition from an altarpiece by Francesco Tifernate (Pinacoteca Comunale, Città di Castello).
Isabella Stewart Gardner. Letter to Bernard Berenson. November 14, 1897 [see Ref. Brown 1983], turns down the opportunity to acquire this work.
Bernard Berenson. Letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner. November 17, 1897 [see Ref. Brown 1983], writes that he is pleased with her decision not to pursue the acquisition of this altarpiece.
The Madonna of Saint Anthony of Padua, also Known as the Great Colonna Madonna, Painted by Raphael Sanzio. Paris, 1897, pp. 1–21, ill., reprints several articles published in various journals on the occasion of the loan of the picture to the Louvre in 1870.
Bernard Berenson. Letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner. October 25, 1900 [see Ref. Brown 1983], offers her the Lamentation predella panel from this altarpiece.
Jean Guiffrey. "Miscellanea: Un'esposizione di quadri antichi alla galleria Sedelmeyer." L'arte 4 (1901), p. 209, gives provenance information.
Julia Cartwright. "The 'Madonna di Sant' Antonio,' by Raphael, from the Sedelmeyer Collection." Art-Journal (October 1901), pp. 284–86, ill., believes that the female saint on the right is probably Dorothy.
"Half a Million Paid for Picture." New York Herald (January 1, 1902), p. ?, ill. (central panel), details the purchase of the picture by J. Pierpont Morgan from Sedelmeyer for $500,000.
Bernard Berenson. Letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner. January 14, 1902 [see Ref. Brown 1983], writing after Morgan's purchase of the altarpiece is made public, states that the work is not highly regarded by critics.
Bernard Berenson. Letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner. January 19, 1902 [see Ref. Brown 1983], reiterates that "none of the critics have a good word to say about it".
Bernard Berenson. Letter to Isabella Stewart Gardner. September 25, 1902 [see Ref. Brown 1983], refers to it disparagingly as a picture "that Raphael barely looked at".
[Max J.] Friedländer. "London: Die Leihausstellung der Royal Academy von 1902." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 25 (1902), pp. 142–43.
J[ean]. Paul Richter. "The 'Old Masters' at Burlington House, 1902." Art-Journal, n.s., (1902), p. 84.
"La Galleria Nazionale di Napoli." Gallerie nazionali italiane 5 (1902), pp. 311–12, 315, nos. 112 (central panel), 113 (lunette), cites letters of 1802 and 1803 from Cav. Domenico Venuti, agent for the king of Naples, stating that he has bought a group of paintings, including this one, from Alexander Day.
Theodor v. Frimmel. Handbuch der Gemäldekunde. 2nd ed. Leipzig, 1904, pp. 256–57, pl. 36.
Adolf Rosenberg. Raffael, des Meisters Gemälde. 2nd ed. Stuttgart, 1905, pp. XIV, 147, 158, 163, 166, ill. p. 20, dates it 1505; identifies the female saint on the right as Dorothy.
Georg Gronau. Raffael. 1905, p. 223, ill. p. 18 [see Ref. Wehle 1940], attributes it to Raphael, and states that it was begun in 1503 and completed in 1505.
Paul Clemen. Die Kunstdenkmäler der Rheinprovinz. Vol. 5, part 3, Die Kunstdenkmäler der Stadt und des Kreises Bonn. Düsseldorf, 1905, p. 231.
John Ruskin. The Works of John Ruskin. Ed. E[dward]. T[yas]. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn. Vol. 22, London, 1906, p. 140.
W. Roberts. Pictures in the Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan at Princes Gate & Dover House, London. Vol. 2, Dutch & Flemish, French, Italian, Spanish. London, 1907, unpaginated, ill.
Adolf Rosenberg and Georg Gronau. Raffael, des Meisters Gemälde. Stuttgart, 1908, pp. XVIII, 223, 253, 260, 265, ill. p. 18, date it 1503/5.
Bernhard Berenson. The Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance. 2nd ed., rev. and enl. New York, 1909, p. 233, lists it as having been painted only in part by Raphael; dates it 1505.
Adolf Paul Oppé. Raphael. London, 1909, pp. 32, 53, 221, pl. XIII, as on loan to the National Gallery; believes that it must have been designed several years before it was executed; calls it repainted.
Catalogue of a Collection of Pictures of the Umbrian School. Exh. cat., Burlington Fine Arts Club. London, 1910, p. 39, under no. 50.
William Bode. "More Spurious Pictures Abroad Than in America." New York Times (December 31, 1911), p. SM4.
New York Sun (December 11, 1912), p. ? [see Ref. Burroughs 1913], calls it the most important painting ever brought to America.
A[dolfo]. Venturi. "La pittura del quattrocento." Storia dell'arte italiana. Vol. 7, part 2, Milan, 1913, p. 782.
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "A Loan Exhibition of Mr. Morgan's Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 8 (January 1913), pp. 2–5, ill. [reprinted as pamphlet, "Collection of Paintings Lent by J. Pierpont Morgan," at least 7 eds., pp. 2–4, ill.].
Mary Cassatt. Letter to Louisine Havemeyer. [April 1913?] [photocopy of fragment in Havemeyer Family Papers Relating to Art Collecting, box 2, folder 20, The Met Archives, New York], calls it "so repainted as to have nothing of the original picture left," mentioning having seen it at the National Gallery and in an exhibition at Sedelmeyer.
"$1,000,000 in Art Gift to Museum from J. P. Morgan." New York Times (February 3, 1916), pp. 1, ?.
Felix Lavery. Raphael. London, 1920, p. 13, includes it in a section with the heading "1507—Perugia"; identifies the female saint on the right as Cecilia; gives provenance information.
Adolfo Venturi. Raffaello. Rome, 1920, p. 119, fig. 34, calls it a transitional work between the artist's Umbrian and Tuscan periods.
Walter Sichel. The Sands of Time. London, 1923, pp. 291–92.
Paul Schubring. "Die Predella zu Raffaels Altar für S. Antonio in Perugia." Der Cicerone 15, no. 1 (1923), pp. 3–6, erroneously states that the entire altarpiece was once in the collection of the duc d'Orléans.
Adolf Rosenberg and Georg Gronau. Raffael, des Meisters Gemälde. 5th ed. Stuttgart, 1923, pp. 223–24, pl. 23 [see Ref. Zeri and Gardner 1980].
W. R. V[alentiner]. "The Clarence H. Mackay Collection." International Studio 81 (August 1925), pp. 335, 345, erroneously states that the chief panel of the predella is in the collection of J. Pierpont Morgan.
A[dolfo]. Venturi. Storia dell'arte italiana. Vol. 9, part 2, La pittura del cinquecento. Milan, 1926, pp. 116–23, fig. 48, erroneously as still in the collection of Morgan's heirs.
Henri Focillon. Raphaël. Paris, 1926, pp. 57–58, notes the influence of Leonardo.
Seymour de Ricci. "Raphaël en Amérique." La Renaissance 9 (December 1926), pp. 1013–14, 1018, ill. p. 1017, dates it 1503–6.
Vilhelm Wanscher. Raffaello Santi da Urbino, His Life and Works. London, 1926, p. 133, no. IV, erroneously as still in the Pierpont Morgan collection; attributes it to Penni, working in Raphael's shop but not from his design.
A[dolfo]. Venturi. Studi dal vero attraverso le raccolte artistiche d'Europa. Milan, 1927, pp. 197, 199 [similar text to Ref. Venturi L'arte 1927].
Adolfo Venturi. "Una tavoletta col San Francesco di Raffaello nella Galleria di Stato a Dresda." L'arte 30 (1927), p. 82, believes that the three narrative panels of the predella were originally separated by four small panels depicting standing saints: the two at Dulwich, which he identifies as Saint Anthony and an unknown Franciscan saint, one in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, which he identifies as Saint Francis, and a lost panel.
Esther Singleton. Old World Masters in New World Collections. New York, 1929, pp. 90, 92.
Wilhelm von Bode. Mein Leben. Berlin, 1930, vol. 1, p. 84, mentions that the altarpiece was offered for sale in July 1873 by the duke of Ripalda.
Lionello Venturi. Pitture italiane in America. Milan, 1931, unpaginated, pl. CCCXXXII.
Philip Hendy. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Catalogue of the Exhibited Paintings and Drawings. Boston, 1931, pp. 282–83, dates the altarpiece between 1503 and 1505.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 481, lists it as in great part by Raphael and dates it 1505.
Lionello Venturi. Italian Paintings in America. Vol. 3, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century. New York, 1933, unpaginated, pl. 441, states that it was begun in 1504 and completed in 1505; identifies the female saint on the right as Cecilia.
Bryson Burroughs. "Two Great Pictures." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 28 (March 1933), pp. 57–59.
Hans Tietze. Meisterwerke europäischer Malerei in Amerika. Vienna, 1935, p. 329, pl. 77 [English ed., "Masterpieces of European Painting in America," New York, 1939, p. 313, pl. 77], dates it 1504/5.
O[skar]. Fischel inAllgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 29, Leipzig, 1935, p. 434.
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 414.
Vincenzo Golzio. Raffaello. Vatican City, 1936, pp. 346–47, 356, 363.
Arthur Kay. Treasure Trove in Art. Edinburgh, 1939, pp. 120–22, ill., describes examining the altarpiece at the request of a friend [evidently Martin Colnaghi] while it was on loan to a public gallery in England, and determining that, contrary to the prevailing opinion of the time, it was in excellent condition, with plentiful repaint but which was of recent date and easily removable; notes that the altarpiece was then bought by his friend, and subsequently by a Paris dealer [Sedelmeyer] who sold it to Morgan.
Giorgio Nicodemi. Raffaello Sanzio. Milan, 1939, pp. 19–20, pl. XXI, dates it 1502–5.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 117–19, ill., states that it was begun in 1504 and completed in 1505.
Virginia Woolf. Roger Fry, A Biography. New York, 1940, pp. 142–43, publishes a reminiscence by Roger Fry of an outing he made in Italy in May 1907 with Pierpont Morgan, including a remark by Fry that this work was "much repainted" and "had been left for fifty years in the S.K. Museum because no one would buy it and no one wanted to look at it".
W[illiam]. E. Suida. Raphael. New York, 1941, pp. 6, 31, pl. 90 [2nd ed., 1948, pp. 6, 23, pl. 13].
Luigi Serra. Raffaello. Turin, 1945, pp. 37–38, believes that the altarpiece predates the Crucifixion in the National Gallery, London, but also that work was interrupted, and that the painting was not completed until several years later.
Sergio Ortolani. Raffaello. 2nd ed. Bergamo, 1945, p. 20, states that it was begun in 1504–5; notes the influence of Leonardo and Fra Bartolomeo.
Richard C. Jebb. "The Classical Renaissance." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 5 (November 1946), pp. 74–75, ill.
Oskar Fischel. Raphael. London, 1948, vol. 1, pp. 43, 46, 358, dates it about 1504.
Art Treasures of the Metropolitan: A Selection from the European and Asiatic Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1952, p. 225, no. 90, colorpl. 90.
Enzo Carli. Raffaello. Milan, 1952, p. 9, dates it about 1505.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 1, ill. p. 15.
Roberto Longhi. "Percorso di Raffaello giovine." Paragone 6 (May 1955), pp. 21–22.
K. T. Parker. Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings in the Ashmolean Museum. Vol. 2, Italian Schools. Oxford, 1956, p. 281, under no. 534, disagrees with Robinson [see Ref. 1870] that the Ashmolean drawing is a study for the figure of God the Father in this lunette.
Ettore Camesasca. Tutta la pittura di Raffaello. Vol. 1, I quadri. Milan, 1956, pp. 40–42, pls. 37, 38 (detail).
Ottorino Gurrieri. I tesori artistici di Perugia in Italia e nel mondo. Perugia, n.d., unpaginated, pl. 56, dates it 1504.
A. Hyatt Mayor. "The Gifts that Made the Museum." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (November 1957), ill. p. 91.
Gerald Reitlinger. The Economics of Taste. Vol. , The Rise and Fall of Picture Prices, 1760–1960. London, 1961, pp. 113–14, gives provenance information.
Luciano Berti. "Masaccio 1422." Commentari 12 (April–June 1961), p. 87 n. 4.
Cecil Gould. The Sixteenth-Century Italian Schools (Excluding the Venetian). London, 1962, p. 156, under no. 2919.
Rudolf Wittkower. "The Young Raphael." Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin 20, no. 3 (1963), p. 163, dates it shortly after the Ansidei altarpiece (National Gallery, London), which he dates 1505.
Anna Maria Brizio inEnciclopedia universale dell'arte. Vol. 11, Venice, 1963, col. 225.
Creighton Gilbert. "A Miracle by Raphael." North Carolina Museum of Art Bulletin 6 (Fall 1965), pp. 8–9, 12, 32 n. 1, dates it about 1505, after Raphael's return from Florence.
Luitpold Dussler. Raffael: Kritisches Verzeichnis der Gemälde, Wandbilder und Bildteppiche. Munich, 1966, pp. 21, 26, 41, 52, no. 90, dates it slightly later than the Ansidei Madonna, stating that it was begun before Raphael's trip to Florence and completed by the end of 1505, after his return; notes the influence of Fra Bartolomeo and Leonardo in the figures of the saints; reverses the two female saints, identifying the one on the left [right] as Cecilia.
Pierluigi De Vecchi inL'opera completa di Raffaello. Milan, 1966, pp. 92–93, nos. 42A (lunette), 42B (central panel), ill. [English ed., 1966], dates it 1503–5.
Federico Zeri. "La Galleria Colonna a Roma." Tesori d'arte delle grandi famiglie. Ed. Douglas Cooper. Milan, 1966, p. 28.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools. London, 1968, vol. 1, pp. 351–53, identifies the female saint on the right as Cecilia.
Luisa Becherucci in "Raphael and Painting." The Complete Work of Raphael. New York, 1969, pp. 40, 47–48, as commissioned in about 1504 and completed at a later date.
Die Orangerie in Sanssouci. Potsdam, 1969, p. 35, under no. 42, describes a copy made by Karl Ritter in about 1845 (Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten, Potsdam-Sanssouci).
Anna Forlani Tempesti in "The Drawings." The Complete Work of Raphael. New York, 1969, p. 329.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, pp. 104, 181, 224 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
John Pope-Hennessy. Raphael. New York, 1970, pp. 89, 273 n. 15, fig. 78, as commissioned and probably begun before Raphael's departure for Florence in 1504, and probably completed in 1505 or 1506; notes the influence of Fra Bartolomeo in the figures of the male saints.
Luitpold Dussler. Raphael: A Critical Catalogue of his Pictures, Wall-Paintings, and Tapestries. London, 1971, pp. 14–16, pl. 43.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 172, 339, 360, 384, 439, 443, 464, 606, list the second female saint as anonymous.
Manfred Ebhardt. Die Deutung der Werke Raffaels in der Deutschen Kunstliteratur von Klassizismus und Romantik. Baden-Baden, 1972, pp. 67, 114, 136.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 1974, pp. 193–94, dates it between 1503 and 1506.
Konrad Oberhuber Princeton University. Lecture. 1975, notes that it is considerably less advanced than the Ansidei Madonna and suggests that it was begun soon after the completion of the Saint Nicholas of Tolentino altarpiece (destroyed), at the end of 1501 or the beginning of 1502; believes the predella was probably painted last; discusses connections with Pinturicchio.
Edward Fowles. Memories of Duveen Brothers. London, 1976, p. 123, reports a story of how Baron Lazzaroni repainted a damaged angel in the lunette.
James H. Beck. Raphael. New York, 1976, p. 88, colorpl. 5 (central panel only), dates it about 1505, stating that it was painted in Florence; identifies the female saint on the right as Margaret.
Konrad Oberhuber. "The Colonna Altarpiece in the Metropolitan Museum and Problems of the Early Style of Raphael." Metropolitan Museum Journal 12 (1977), pp. 55–90, ill. (overall and details) [similar text to Ref. Oberhuber 1975].
John M. Brealey. "The Colonna Altarpiece in the Metropolitan Museum and Problems of the Early Style of Raphael: Appendix." Metropolitan Museum Journal 12 (1977), p. 91, reports on the condition of the altarpiece.
Everett Fahy. "Italian Paintings at Fenway Court and Elsewhere." Connoisseur 198 (May 1978), pp. 39–40, fig. 16 (reconstruction), dates the altarpiece about 1505; suggests that the two small panels depicting Saints Anthony and Francis (Dulwich College Picture Gallery, London) may have formed part of the altarpiece and may have been located at the ends of the predella under the pilasters that flanked the central panel, Anthony on the left and Francis on the right.
Rollin van N. Hadley. "What Might Have Been: Pictures Mrs. Gardner Did Not Acquire." Fenway Court (1979), pp. 37, 43, fig. 22.
Wilhelm Kelber. Raphael von Urbino: Leben und Werk. Stuttgart, 1979, pp. 423–24, no. 37, pl. 37.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sienese and Central Italian Schools. New York, 1980, pp. 72–75, pl. 110, state that it is possible that the altarpiece may have been begun earlier than 1504; rule out Dorothy and Rosa in attempting to identify the female saint at right, but not Cecilia or Margaret.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 17, 23, 248, fig. 30 (color).
Peter Murray. Dulwich Picture Gallery. London, 1980, p. 99.
Pier Luigi De Vecchi. Raffaello, la pittura. Florence, 1981, pp. 27–28, 96 n. 29, p. 241, no. 18ab, colorpl. XLIII, dates it 1503–5, believing that it was begun before the Ansidei Madonna, but then worked on over a longer period of time, probably in two separate periods, with the help of assistants.
Sylvia Ferino-Pagden. "Raphael's Activity in Perugia as Reflected in a Drawing in the Ashmolean Museum—Oxford." Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz 25 (1981), pp. 234–35, 237, 248, 252 n. 74, figs. 1 (detail of landscape), 6 (central panel), identifies a drawing in the Ashmolean (Parker 34) as a study for the landscape behind Saint Paul, noting its northern character; states that the dating of both the drawing and the altarpiece is problematic, although they were most likely executed at about the same time.
Konrad Oberhuber. Raffaello. Milan, 1982, pp. 12–13, 16, 20–21, ill. (color).
Francesco Federico Mancini. "Raffaello e Francesco Tifernate: un documento e alcune precisazioni." Antichità viva 22 (September–December 1983), pp. 29–32, 34 n. 17, fig. 13 (central panel), refutes Magherini Graziani's [see Ref. 1897] position on the relationship between this altarpiece and the one by Tifernate.
David Alan Brown. Raphael and America. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1983, pp. 29, 38, 53, 60, 64–70, 72, 87, 105 nn. 220–23, 225, 229, 231–34, pp. 119, 122–23, 190 nn. 52–53, 56, fig. 33 (central panel), discusses the painting's acquisition by Morgan, and also its earlier rejection by Isabella Stewart Gardner.
Roger Jones and Nicholas Penny. Raphael. New Haven, 1983, p. 16.
Fausta Gualdi Sabatini. Giovanni di Pietro detto Lo Spagna. Spoleto, 1984, vol. 1, pp. 34, 122, 182–83.
Sylvia Ferino Pagden. "Raffaello giovane e gli artisti umbri contemporanei." Arte cristiana 73 (July–August 1985), pp. 263, 268–69, 272–73, 275, fig. 12 (central panel), states that the altarpiece was very influential for local Umbrian painters and gives examples; notes that it reveals the influence of Signorelli rather than Perugino; relates it stylistically to three small roundels (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin) which she attributes to a collaborator of Raphael named Domenico Alfani; notes similarities between the predella panel depicting the Pietà and a drawing (whereabouts unknown) which seems earlier than the traditional date of the altarpiece of 1504–5.
Grazia Bernini Pezzini inRaphael invenit: stampe da Raffaello nelle collezioni dell'Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica. 1985, p. 184, under no. II-1, catalogues an engraving after the central panel by Tommaso Aloysio-Juvara, dated 1873.
Dillian Gordon. "The Conservatism of Umbrian Art: Raphael and Before." Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 134 (January 1986), p. 110, dates it about 1505; suggests that the old-fashioned format of the predella is due to conservative taste in Umbria and in the Franciscan order for which the altarpiece was made; accepts Fahy's [see Ref. 1978] reconstruction of the predella although finding it more likely that Saint Francis would have been on the left and Saint Anthony on the right.
Sylvia Ferino Pagden. "The Early Raphael and His Umbrian Contemporaries." Raphael Before Rome. Ed. James Beck. Washington, 1986, pp. 93, 98–100, fig. 12 [similar text to Ref. Ferino Pagden 1985].
Leopold D. Ettlinger and Helen S. Ettlinger. Raphael. Oxford, 1987, pp. 62, 64, pl. 55.
Francesco Federico Mancini. Raffaello in Umbria: cronologia e committenza, nuovi studi e documenti. Perugia, 1987, pp. 13–14, 16–19, 22, 25, 29–30, 62 n. 21, p. 64 n. 46, figs. 6 (lunette), 7 (central panel), colorpl. 1, discusses the dating of the altarpiece, arguing that it was completed by early 1503; discusses the identification of the female saint at right, favoring Margaret.
Francesco Federico Mancini inPinacoteca Comunale di Città di Castello. Ed. Francesco Federico Mancini. Vol. 1, Dipinti. Perugia, 1987, pp. 175–76, under no. 24, mentions it in connection with the variant after it by Tifernate.
Francesco Federico Mancini inLa pittura in Italia: il Cinquecento. Ed. Giuliano Briganti. revised and expanded ed. [Milan], 1988, vol. 1, p. 372, fig. 559 (central panel).
Sylvia Ferino Pagden and Maria Antonietta Zancan. Raffaello: catalogo completo dei dipinti. Florence, 1989, pp. 22–23, no. 8, ill. (color).
Hubert Locher. Raffael und das Altarbild der Renaissance: Die "Pala Baglioni" als Kunstwerk im sakralen Kontext. Berlin, 1994, pp. 36, 38–39, 42, 137 n. 3, fig. 33.
Pierluigi De Vecchi. Raffaello: la mimesi, l'armonia e l'invenzione. Florence, 1995, pp. 30, 206–7, no. 18.
Nicholas Penny inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 25, New York, 1996, p. 898, finds it puzzling and suggests that "it may be a work of collaboration and perhaps dates in conception from as early as 1501".
John Shearman. "On Raphael's Chronology 1503–1508." Ars naturam adiuvans: Festschrift für Matthias Winner. Ed. Victoria v. Flemming and Sebastian Schütze. Mainz, 1996, pp. 202–3.
Eduard A. Safarik. Collezione dei dipinti Colonna: inventari 1611–1795. Munich, 1996, pp. 253, 599, 628–29, fig. 45, notes that one example of the 1783 catalogue has handwritten annotations indicating the most important works that left the collection beginning in 1798, including this one; lists it among works sold by Filippo III Colonna in 1798.
Jean Strouse. Morgan: American Financier. New York, 1999, pp. 7, 413–15, 473, 507, 518, 569, states that Morgan acquired the altarpiece for two million francs in April 1901 from Sedelmeyer in Paris .
Eduard A. Safarik. Palazzo Colonna. Rome, 1999, fig. 255.
Konrad Oberhuber. Raphael: The Paintings. Munich, 1999, pp. 18–19, fig. 7 (color).
Jean Strouse. "J. Pierpont Morgan, Financier and Collector." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 57 (Winter 2000), pp. 33–35, fig. 38 (color) [text similar to Ref. Strouse 1999].
Jürg Meyer zur Capellen. Raphael: A Critical Catalogue of His Paintings. Ed. Stefan B. Polter. Vol. 1, The Beginnings in Umbria and Florence, ca. 1500–1508. Landshut, Germany, 2001, pp. 172, 175, 182, 185, nos. 17A, 17B, ill. pp. 78 (framed, color), 173 (unframed), 174 (detail), lists four copies after the painting and four prints after it.
Esmée Quodbach. "'The Last of the American Versailles': The Widener Collection at Lynnewood Hall." Simiolus 29, no. 1/2 (2002), pp. 75, 85, 92, fig. 35.
Carol Plazzotta et al. inRaphael: From Urbino to Rome. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2004, pp. 9, 21, 26, 33–34, 78, 150, 155–56, 160, 228, 301, 303 n. 59, p. 304, fig. 68, state that Raphael adopted the idea of the fully clothed Christ Child from an altarpiece by Pinturicchio of 1490–95 (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge); note that Wornum's [Ralph Nicholson Wornum, Keeper of the National Gallery, 1854–77] diary indicates that the picture was on loan to the National Gallery, London, during 1871–72.
Linda Wolk-Simon. "Raphael at the Metropolitan: The Colonna Altarpiece." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 63 (Spring 2006), pp. 4–74, nos. 1A, 1B, ill. in color (overall and details) and in black and white (infrared reflectogram mosaic details).
Tom Henry. "United They Stand." Apollo (August 2006), pp. 63–64, fig. 1 (color, reconstruction), believes that discrepencies can be attributed to condition and to an extended period of execution rather than to the participation of a collaborator.
Serena Padovani inThe Alana Collection. Ed. Miklós Boskovits. Vol. 2, Italian Paintings and Sculptures from the Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century. Florence, 2011, p. 237, dates it 1501–2.
Maria Cristina Paoluzzi. La collezione Colonna nell'allestimento settecentesco: la Galleria negli acquerelli di Salvatore Colonnelli Sciarra. Rome, 2013, pp. 26, 154–56, no. F.8, fig. 74 (color), reproduces a series of watercolors (Devonshire collection, Chatsworth) of 1730 by Salvatore Colonnelli Sciarra showing the arrangement of pictures hanging on the walls of the Palazzo Colonna, including wall "F" with this altarpiece (fig. 20); identifies this painting with a Madonna by Raphael included in inventories of 1730 and after 1740.
Tom Henry inLe Pérugin: maître de Raphaël. Exh. cat., Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris. Brussels, 2014, p. 191, under nos. 51–52.
Mauro Minardi inThe Alana Collection. Ed. Sonia Chiodo and Serena Padovani. Vol. 3, Italian Paintings from the 14th to 16th Century. Florence, 2014, p. 94.
Jennifer Tonkovich. "Discovering the Renaissance: Pierpont Morgan's Shift to Collecting Italian Old Masters." A Market for Merchant Princes: Collecting Italian Renaissance Paintings in America. Ed. Inge Reist. University Park, Pa., 2015, pp. 42, 46–47.
Tino Mager and Jennifer Fischer-Falckenberg inPariser Lehrjahre: Ein Lexikon zur Ausbildung deutscher Maler in der französischen Hauptstadt. Vol. 2, 1844–1870. Berlin, 2015, p. 86, note that Auguste Léo commissioned the German painter Anton Hansmann to make a copy of the painting while it was on loan to the Louvre in 1870.
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, pp. 272, 279, 290, no. 167, ill. pp. 172, 272 (color).
There is a copy of Raphael's altarpiece painted by Karl Ritter in 1845 in the Orangerie, Park Sanssouci, Potsdam. Correspondence in the Archives des musées nationaux, Paris, indicates that Auguste Léo was granted permission to have the German painter Anton Hansmann make a copy of the painting in 1870 while it was on loan to the Louvre. There is an engraving after the central panel by Tommaso Aloysio-Juvara, dated 1873 (Bernini Pezzini 1985).