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Female Saint Holding a Book, Amico Aspertini

This painting of a female saint may also be a portrait. A noblewoman of Bologna might have commissioned Amico Aspertini to paint her as a saint as an expression of religious fervor and of the ideal of holiness to which she aspired. The saint poses in a contemporary, Renaissance costume, her hair covered by a veil and a net. She holds a book in imitation of the Virgin Mary, who is often depicted with a book.

Aspertini was known for his eccentric style, which is seen here in the odd shape of the face and the large hands.
For more information on this painting, please seeFederico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 254, pp. 376-377.
Date between circa 1510 and circa 1520 (Renaissance)
Medium oil on panel
Dimensions Painted surface Height: 60.5 cm (23.8 in). Width: 43.5 cm (17.1 in). Depth: 0.8 cm (0.3 in). ; Framed Height: 80.01 cm (31.5 in). Width: 62.87 cm (24.8 in). Depth: 6.99 cm (2.8 in).
Walters Art Museum
Accession number 37.441
Place of creation Bologna, Italy
Object history

Bentivoglio Collection, Casa Bentivoglio, Bologna [date and mode of acquisition unknown]
J. Hanson-Walker, London, 1894 [mode of acquisition unknown]
Private collection, England [date and mode of acquisition unknown]
Sale, Christie's, London, December 10, 1898, no. 65
Jeffrey, London [date and mode of acquisition unknown]
Friedrich Lippmann, Berlin [date and mode of acquisition unknown]
Rudolph Lepke Sale, Berlin, November 26-27, 1912, no. 34 [as Lorenzo Costa]
Arnold Seligmann, Rey and Co., Munich and New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [published in Zeri: Italian Paintings in the Walters Art Gallery: II as A. S. Drey]
Henry Walters, Baltimore, prior to 1922 [mode of acquisition unknown]
1931: bequeathed to Walters Art Museum by Henry Walters

Exhibition history Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985. Amico Aspertini 1475-1552 e il suo tempo. Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, 40126 Bologna. 2008-2009.
Credit line Acquired by Henry Walters, before 1922
Inscriptions [Inscription] Painted in black on reverse: C B B; [Seal] On reverse: red wax seal with coat of arms with fleurs-de-lys


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