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Madonna and Child, partial copy of Sant'Angelo in Vado Altarpiece

Manner of Zuccari Federico

(Sant'Angelo in Vado 1542-43 - Ancona 1609)

First documented in connection with the Borghese Collection in 1790, the work is a partial copy – depicting only Mary and the baby Jesus – of the monumental altarpiece executed by Federico Zuccari for the convent of Santa Caterina in Sant’Angelo in Vado in 1603. While in the past the work was mistakenly attributed to Santi di Tito, today critics believe that the artist was one of Zuccari’s followers.

Object details

post 1603
oil on canvas
cm 33 x 28

19th-century frame with four corner palmettes, 46.5 x 41 x 7 cm


Rome, Borghese Collection, 1790 (Inv. 1790, room X, no. 32; Della Pergola 1959); Inventario Fidecommissario 1833, p. 39; purchased by Italian state, 1902.

Conservation and Diagnostic
  • 1945 - Carlo Matteucci


This painting, whose provenance is unknown, was first mentioned in the context of the Borghese Collection in 1790, when the inventory of that year listed it as a work by Benvenuto Tisi, called Garofalo; this attribution was repeated in the 1833 Inventario Fidecommissario and in the profiles by Giovanni Piancastelli (1891). For their part, Gustavo Frizzoni and Corrado Ricci rather favoured the name of Luca Longhi, as we know from Giulio Cantalamessa’s Note manoscritte (1912). Yet Roberto Longhi (1928) did not accept either attribution, proposing instead the name of Santi di Tito: with the exception of Günther Arnolds (1934), all 20th-century critics accepted Longhi’s suggestion (De Rinaldis 1948; Della Pergola 1959; Collareta 1977; Forlani Tempesta 1980). In 2006, however, Kristina Herrmann Fiore challenged this thesis, publishing the work as in ‘the manner of Federico Zuccari’: according to this scholar all the evidence indicates that the work is a partial copy – limited to the representation of the Virgin and Child – of the well-known Sant’Angelo in Vado altarpiece, which Zuccari executed in 1603 for the convent of Santa Caterina.

Antonio Iommelli

  • G. Piancastelli, Catalogo dei quadri della Galleria Borghese, in Archivio Galleria Borghese, 1891, p. 154;
  • A. Venturi, Il Museo e la Galleria Borghese, Roma 1893, p. 132;
  • G. Cantalamessa, Note manoscritte al Catalogo di A. Venturi del 1893, Arch. Gall. Borghese, 1911-12, n. 232;
  • R. Longhi, Precisioni nelle Gallerie Italiane, I, La R. Galleria Borghese, Roma 1928, p. 198;
  • G. Arnolds, Santi di Tito, pittore di Sansepolcro, Arezzo 1934, p. 84;
  • A. Venturi, Storia dell’Arte Italiana, IX, Milano 1934, p. 595;
  • A. De Rinaldis, Catalogo della Galleria Borghese, Roma 1948, p. 33;
  • P. della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese in Roma, Roma 1951, p. 26;
  • L. Ferrara, Galleria Borghese, Novara 1956, p. 42;
  • P. della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, II, Roma 1959, pp. 52-53, n. 74;
  • M. Collareta, Tre note su Santi di Tito, in “Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa”, III, 1977,1, pp. 355-356;
  • A. Forlani Tempesti, in Firenze e la Toscana dei Medici nell'Europa del Cinquecento. Il primato del Disegno, catalogo della mostra (Firenze, Palazzo Strozzi, 1980), a cura C. Beltramo Ciappi, Milano 1980, p. 206;
  • K. Herrmann Fiore, Galleria Borghese Roma scopre un tesoro. Dalla pinacoteca ai depositi un museo che non ha più segreti, San Giuliano Milanese 2006, p. 78.