OLYMPIA A young woman lying quite nude on a shawl thrown over the sheets on a bed. Her head and shoulders (on our left) raised by two large pillows. Her left hand is on her right thigh, and her left foot in a pale yellow slipper crossed over the right leg. Her face is turned to us, and her eyes meet ours. On the right, behind the bed, a negress in a pink dress is bringing her a bouquet. On the foot of the bed stands a black kitten. Dark background with curtains.
Painted in 1863. Exhibited at the Salon, I865.
MANTEGNA (Andrea), 1431-1506.
Paduan School. Pupil of Squarcione.
LONDON, NATIONAL GALLERY
THE VIRGIN ENTHRONED The Virgin, full length, is seated under a scarlet canopy with the Child standing on her knee. The Baptist in a lilac mantle stands on the left, and the Magdalene in green and yellow draperies on the right. In the background orange and citron trees.
Signed “Andreas Mantinia, C.P.F.” A late work.
Formerly in the possession of the Monti and Andreani families. Purchased from the Roverselli Collection in 1855.
THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN Christ kneels towards the left on a ledge or rock. In the foreground are the three disciples asleep by the brook Kedron, which flows in front. Above, on the left, five angels with the instruments of the Passion. In the background Judas leading a body of soldiers from the city.
Signed “Opus Andrex Mantegna.”
Painted in 1459 for Giacomo Marcello, Podesta of Padua.
Similar in design to No. 726 by Giovanni Bellini, both being apparently based on a sketch in Jacopo Bellini’s sketch-book at the British Museum. Formerly in the collection of Cardinal Fesch.
Purchased from the Earl of Northbrook in 1894.
LA MADONNA DELLA VITTORIA In a semicircular arbour richly wrought by foliage intertwined with flowers and fruits the Virgin is seated on a high throne, her left hand supporting the Child, who stands on her knee, her right arm extended downwards towards Francesco da Gonzaga, who kneels with joined hands at the foot of the throne on the left in profile to the right. Opposite to him St. Elizabeth kneels, her right hand resting on the base of the throne at the feet of the infant St. John, who stands facing us with his right arm upraised at the Virgin’s knee, and his gaze directed upwards at the Holy . Behind the two kneeling figures stand St. Michael (on the left), St. George (on the right), richly armed, holding open the Virgin’s mantle, behind which appear the heads of St. Andrew (left) and St. Longinus (right).
On the base of the throne is a picture in grisaille of Adam and Eve.
PARNASSUS In front of a natural arch of rock in the middle distance the nine muses, attired in flowing Greek draperies, are dancing to the sound of Apollo’s lyre. He is seated on the extreme left, while in the right foreground Mercury stands leaning on the winged Pegasus. On the top of the arch, in front of a couch backed by a screen of foliage, stand Mars and Venus fronting us, and on their left Cupid is seen aiming a sasbacane at Mercury, who is standing by his forge behind on the left shaking his fist at him. Landscape background, with Mount Helicon.
TRIPTYCH Centre Panel.-THE ADORATION Or THE KINGS On the right, before a grotto, surrounded by cherubim, the Virgin, seated on a rock, holds the Child in her arms. Both are gazing at the three Kings, who bow before them with their offerings. On the extreme right St. Joseph leans on his staff watching them. Afar off are seen the retinues of the Kings. In the clouds are four kneeling angels, between whom is the Star of Bethlehem.
Right-Hand Panel.-THE CIRCUMCISION The aged high priest stands facing us in the centre, the Virgin in profile on the right with the Child in her arms, and a boy with his back to us holding up a salver on the left. Farther to the left St. Joseph carrying a basket of doves, and on the right, behind the Virgin, two holy women one old and one young, and a child.
Left-Hand Panel.-THE RESURRECTION. Christ ascends into the heavens holding a banner and surrounded by cherubim. He bends His head towards the earth, where the Virgin and the Apostles are seen grouped round the empty sepulchre.
ST. GEORGE He stands fronting us, framed in a plain narrow stone doorway, through which we see a road winding over a hill. He is in full armour, except for his helm and gauntlets. His head, with a nimbus over it, is turned to our right; his left hand is on his hip, and his right grasps a broken lance, the butt of which rests on the sill. Behind him lies the dead dragon, and above is suspended a garland of fruit.
THE MADONNA WITH SINGING CHERUBS Half length. The Virgin, full face, seated, with the Child standing on her right knee, His body supported with her right hand and His left foot with her left hand. The background is filled by the heads of a dozen singing cherubim in various attitudes. The mother looks downwards, the Child upwards to the right.
THE DEAD CHRIST An extraordinarily realistic study in foreshortening, the recumbent body with a drapery over the legs, being viewed from close to the foot of the table on which it lies, with the head slightly raised at the farther end of a pillow. The heads of the two weeping Marys, in profile, are seen on the left.
THE ALTAR-PIECE OF ST. LUKE Divided into ten compartments in two rooms, with pointed arch-heads. The largest is the centre of the lower row, in which is St. Luke, full face, seated behind a desk writing. Above this is Christ rising from the tomb between the Virgin and St. John. The remaining four lower compartments contain standing full-length figures of saints, and the upper ones three-quarter length figures of saints.