BONIFAZIO DE' PITATI CALLED BONIFAZIO VERONESE VERONA 1487-1553 VENICE THE HOLY FAMILY WITH SAINT DOROTHY AND THE INFANT JOHN THE BAPTIST, AND TOBIAS WITH AN ANGEL oil on canvas 40 1/2 by 59 5/8 in.; 102.9 by 151.4 cm.
Boston, Fogg Art Museum, 1938;
San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Venetian Painting, 1938, no. 13.
P. Hendy, Museum of Fine Arts Bulletin, vol. XXXI, no. 186, 1933, pp. 59-61;
B. Berenson, Pitture Italiane del Rinascimento, Milan 1936, p. 80 (as Bonifazio Veronese);
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Venetian School, New York 1957, vol. I, p. 41 (as Bonifazio Veronese);
B.B. Fredericksen & F. Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteeth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Cambridge 1972, pp. 31, 564 (as Bonifazio Veronese);
A.R. Murphy, European Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue, Boston 1985, p. 23 (as Bonifazio Veronese).
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 15 January 1993, lot 10;
There purchased by the present owner.
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This is an example of Bonifazio's sacre conversazioni that were so popular in Venice in the 16th century and that were inspired by those of his teacher, Palma Vecchio. Ultimately, however, it is to the examples of Titian, Giorgione and Giovanni Bellini that Bonifazio's works owe the greatest debt and, from these predecessors of his, Bonifazio appropriated the compositional symmetry and quiet, contemplative tone that characterise his mature works. His conversazioni are almost all built along the same compositional lines, with the Holy Family set before a tree or stone temple, flanked by saints and with an extensive Giorgionesque landscape diminishing into the distance on either side. In this way the present lot may be compared with the example in the collection of the Marquess of Lansdowne at Bowood(1) or that in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence.(2)
1. B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Venetian School, vol. I, New York 1957, p. 43 (as a late work).
2. Ibid., fig. 1137.