Fragment from Christ Carrying the Cross: Mourning Virgin

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Jean Hey, known as the Master of Moulins
Active Lyon and Moulins, c. 1475–c. 1505

Fragment from Christ Carrying the Cross: Mourning Virgin, 1500/05

Oil on panel
10 13/16 x 7 7/8 in. (27.5 x 19.9 cm); image: 10 3/8 x 7 1/4 in. (26.3 x 18.4 cm)
The Art Institute of Chicago, Lacy Withers Armour Fund, restricted gift of the Old Masters Society, the Rhoades Foundation, Marilynn Alsdorf, Barbara Danielson in honor of James Wood, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Madigan, and John and Mary Gedo through the Old Masters Society, through prior gift of the George F. Harding, Mr. and Mrs. Morris I. Kaplan, Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester, and Max and Leola Epstein collections, 2004.244

These two fragments are all that remain of a painting of Christ carrying the Cross by Jean Hey, the leading painter working in France at the end of the 15th century. Saint John the Evangelist was acquired by the Chicago collector Martin Ryerson in the 1890s; Mourning Virgin, recently identified as a fragment of the same work, was acquired in 2004. Technical examination showed traces of the cross and the head of Christ on both fragments and also provided evidence to connect them to another panel in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, depicting a saint and donor. These fragments were thus formerly part of an intensely emotional image of Christ’s road to Calvary, which would have formed the left half of a diptych, or portable folding altarpiece, with the representation of the donor in prayer on the right.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

London, Colnaghi, Paintings by Old Masters, 1952, no. 6.

City of Manchester Art Gallery, Art Treasures Centenary: European Old
Masters, 1957, no. 20.

Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery, Paintings from Sir Thomas Barlow’s Collection, 1968, no. 6.

Hampstead, Kenwood House, on long-term loan with other pictures from the Barlow collection, 1997–July 2003.

Paris, Galeries nationales, Grand Palais, France 1500: entre Moyen Age et Renaissance, 2010–11, no. 70c.

Art Institute of Chicago, Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France, 2011, no. 62.

Publication History

Ellis Waterhouse, “The Manchester Exhibition 1957,” Burlington Magazine
99 (1957), p. 415, fig. 21.

Martha Wolff, “Reconstitution d’une scène de la Passion peinte par le Maître de Moulins,” Revue de l’art, no. 147 (2005), pp. 58–66, figs. 8–11.

Martha Wolff in Martha Wolff et al., Northern European and Spanish Paintings before 1600 in the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 2008), pp. 25-30, ill.

Martha Wolff et al., Kings, Queens, and Courtiers: Art in Early Renaissance France (New Haven and London, 2011). pp. 131, ill.

Ownership History

n Italy by the late 19th century. Giannino Marchig, by 1950 [photo of the painting at I Tatti, Fiesole, is marked "photo sent by Marchig Feb. 24 1950" with an annotation "Maitre de Moulins" in Bernard Berenson's handwriting; e-mail from Fiorella Superbi, I Tatti, to Tiffany Johnston, July 24, 2003, copy in curatorial file.]; sold to Colnaghi, London, July 1, 1952 [email from Timothy Warner-Johnson, Colnaghi, to Martha Wolff, June 25, 2003, copy in curatorial file]; sold to Sir Thomas Barlow, Bart. (d. 1964), London, July 1, 1952 [email cited above]; by descent to Nicholas Barlow, London; sold to the Art Institute through Simon Dickinson Ltd., London, as agent, 2004.