About This Artwork

Eastern Mediterranean or Italian

Diptych of the Virgin and Child Enthroned and the Crucifixion, 1275/85

Tempera on panel
Left wing: 38 x 29.5 cm (14 15/16 x 11 5/8 in.); Painted image of left wing: 29.8 x 22.3 cm (11 3/4 x 8 3/4 in.)
Right wing: 38 x 29.5 cm (14 15/16 x 11 5/8 in.); Painted image of right wing: 30 x 22.3 cm (11 7/8 x 8 3/4 in.)
left wing, S. RAPAEL [RAPHAEL] (upper left in red pigment), S. GABRIEL (upper right in red pigment), .FL[...] (vertically, below center left in red pigment); right wing, IC CR (on the cross in gold pigment), MP OY (center left in red pigment), [...] (center right in red pigment)

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1035

This diptych, a hinged and portable work used for private devotion, was probably made in the Latin Kingdom established in the Holy Land by the Crusaders. In style, technique, and the use of both Latin and Greek inscriptions, it shows a mixture of Eastern and Western elements. The diptych may have been made by an Italian craftsman, possibly working in the coastal city of Acre, which was the capital of a reduced crusader kingdom in the late 13th century. This type of private devotional work, and related Byzantine models imported back into Western Europe, exerted a powerful influence on later painting in Italy, France, and the Low Countries.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1933, no. 100, as Tuscan School, 2nd half of XIII century.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1934, no. 39, 2nd half of XIII century.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557), March 15, 2004 – July 4, 2004, no. 288, as probably Saint-Jean d'Acre, c. 1275/85.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Devotion and Splendor: Medieval Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, September 25, 2004–January 2, 2005 (no. cat.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, The Silk Road and Beyond: Travel, Trade, and Transformation, December 4, 2006–January 29, 2007 (no. cat.).

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jerusalem: 1000-1400, Every People Under Heaven, September 26, 2016-January 8, 2017, no. 26 [entry by Jaroslav Folda]

Publication History

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago, 1925), p. 160, no. 2048.

Rose Mary Fischkin, Martin A. Ryerson Collection of Paintings and Sculpture, XIII to XVIII Century, Loaned to The Art Institute of Chicago, unpub. MS, 1926, Ryerson Library, The Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 7–10.

R[ose] M[ary] F[ischkin], “Two Thirteenth-Century Paintings,” Art Institute Bulletin 20 (1926), pp. 77-80, ills.

Evelyn Sandberg-Vavalà, La croce dipinta italiana e l’iconografia della passione (Verona, 1929), p. 394.

Evelyn Sandberg-Vavalà, “A Dugento Diptych in Chicago, “ International Studies 95 (April 1930), pp. 32–36, 88, fig. 9.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago, 1932), p. 183, no. 2922.24.

William R. Valentiner, Paintings in the Collection of Martin A. Ryerson, unpub. MS [1932], Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago, n. pag.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collections (Chicago, 1935), p. 20.

Edward B. Garrison, “Post-War Discoveries: Early Italian Paintings, II,” Burlington Magazine 89 (1947), p. 210.

Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections of The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1948), p. 25, ill. of right wing.

Edward B. Garrison, Italian Romanesque Panel Painting: An Illustrated Index (Florence, 1949), pp. 32, 97, no. 241, ill. (rev. ed., Edward B. Garrison and Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 1998. CD-ROM).

Fredrick A. Sweet, “La pittura italiana all’Art Institute di Chicago,” Le vie del mondo: Rivista mensile del Touring Club Italiano 15 (1953), pp. 689–90.

Hugo Buchthal, Miniature Painting in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (Oxford, 1957), pp. 48–49, 51, pls. 57a, b.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago, 1961), p. 224.

Hans Huth, “Italienische Kunstwerke im Art Institute von Chicago, USA,” in Miscellanea Bibliothecae Hertzianae (Munich, 1961), p. 516.

Edward B. Garrison, “A Sacramentary for Roman Use with Sicilian Decoration,” Studies in the History of Medieval Italian Painting 4, 3–4 (1962), p. 415 n. 4.

Kurt Weitzmann, “Thirteenth-Century Crusader Icons on Mount Sinai,” Art Bulletin 45 (1963), pp. 181, 189, reprinted in his Studies in the Arts at Sinai (Princeton, N. J., 1982), pp. 293, 301.

Wolfgang Kermer, Studien zum Diptychon in der sakralen Malerei; von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des sechzehnten Jahrhunderts (Düsseldorf, 1967), pp. 89–93, 246–47, part 2, pp. 70–71, pls. 80–81.

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago, (London, 1970), pp. 23, ill, 288.

Grgo Gamulin, Madonna and Child in Old Art of Croatia (Zagreb, 1971), pp. 11, 15, 51 n. 15, fig. 5.

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1972), pp. 244, 288, 311.

Grgo Gamulin, "La pittura su tavola nel tardo medioevo sulla costa orientale dell'Adriatico" in Venezia e il Levante fino al secolo XV, ed. Agostino Pertusi (Florence, 1974), p. 195 n. 3.

Denys Sutton, “Robert Langton Douglas: Dramatic Days,” Apollo 109 (1979), p. 469, fig. 37.

Andrea Berger-Fix, "Das Wimpassinger Kreuz und seine Einordnung in die Kunst des 13. Jahrhunderts," Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte 33 (1980), p. 64.

Mojmír Frinta, “Raised Gilded Adornment of the Cypriot Icons, and the Occurrence of the Technique in the West,” Gesta 20 (1981), pp. 335–36, 340, fig. 3.

Valentino Pace, “Italy and the Holy Land: Import-Export. I. The Case of Venice” in Vladimir P. Goss, ed., The Meeting of Two Worlds: Cultural Exchange between East and West during the Period of the Crusades (Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1986), p. 335.

Ignace Vandevivere, Les Musées de l'Institut de France : Musées Jacquemart-André et Marmottan à Paris, Musée Condé à Chantilly (Primitifs flamands. I, Corpus de la peinture des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux au quinzième siècle, 15) (Brussels, 1988), p. 99.

Christopher Lloyd, Italian Paintings before 1600 in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Collection (Chicago, 1993), p. 131–135, ills.

Hans Belting, Likeness and Presence: A History of the Image before the Era of Art, translated by Edmund Jephcott (Chicago and London, 1994), pp. 364, 593 n. 53.

Jaroslav Folda, “The Kahn and Mellon Madonnas: Icon or Altarpiece?” in Byzantine East, Latin West: Art-Historical Studies in Honor of Kurt Weitzmann (Princeton, N.J., 1995), p. 506, figs. 8 and 9.

Luciano Bellosi, Cimabue (Milan, 1998), pp. 61, 63 n. 29, 116, ill.

Joanna Cannon, “The Stoclet ‘Man of Sorrows’: a thirteenth-century Italian diptych reunited,” Burlington Magazine 141 (1999), p. 110.

Joseph Polzer, “Some Byzantine and Byzantinising Madonnas Painted during the Later Middle Ages, Part I,” Arte Cristiana 87 (1999), pp. 85, 88 n. 6, fig. 7.

Joseph Polzer, “Some Byzantine and Byzantinising Madonnas Painted during the Later Middle Ages, Part II,” Arte Cristiana 87 (1999), pp. 174-76, 179-80 n. 26, fig. 31.

Luciano Bellosi in Duecento: Forme e colori del Medioevo a Bologna, ed. Massimo Medica, exh. cat., Musei Civici d’Arti Antica, Bologna, 2000, p. 206, under no. 52.

Jaroslav Folda, “Icon to Altarpiece in the Frankish East: Images of the Virgin and Child Enthroned” in Italian Panel Painting of the Duecento and Trecento, edited Victor M. Schmidt (National Gallery of Art, Studies in the History of Art, 61) (Washington, D.C., 2002), pp.131-32, 142 n. 27, figs. 9, 10.

L[arry] J. F[einberg] in “Devotion and Splendor. Medieval Art at the Art Institute of Chicago,” Museum Studies 30, 2 (2004), pp. 20-21, 90, ill.

Jaroslav Folda, Crusader Art in the Holy Land, From the Third Crusade to the Fall of Acre, 1187-1291 (New York, 2005), pp. 556-7, figs. 412, 413.

Victor M. Schmidt, Painted Piety: Panel Paintings for Personal Devotion in Tuscany, 1250-1400 (Florence, 2005), pp. 45, 67 n. 58, 119, 138 n.43, fig. 74.

Larry J. Feinberg and Christina M. Neilsen in “The Silk Road and Beyond. Travel, Trade, and Transformation,” Museum Studies 33, 1 (2007), pp. 44-45, 92, ill.

Rebecca W. Corrie, “Sinai, Acre, Tripoli, and the ‘Backwash from the Levant’: Where Did the Icon Painters Work?” in Approaching the Holy Mountain. Art and Liturgy at Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai, ed. Sharon E.J. Gerstel and Robert S. Nelson (Turnhout, 2010), pp. 430-35, 442-45, figs. 132, 133.

Ownership History

Albin Chalandon, Paris, by 1850; by descent to Henri Chalandon, La Grange Blanche, Parcieux, near Lyon [according to letter on November 11, 1924 from Robert Langton Douglas to Martin Ryerson in Art Institute Archives]; sold by Chalandon to Robert Langton Douglas, London, by 1924 [source cited above]; sold by Langton Douglas to Martin A. Ryerson (d. 1932), Chicago, 1924 [incoming receipt dated November 17, 1924, copy in curatorial file]; on loan to the Art Institute of Chicago from 1924; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1933.

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