Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Catherine of Alexandria

Neroccio de' Landi (Italian, 1447-1500)
c. 1480-85
Tempera and gold leaf on panel 
comp: 29-1/2 x 24-3/8 in. (74.9 x 61.9 cm); panel: 32 x 27-1/8 in. (81.3 x 68.9 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View

Neroccio's activity as a painter centered on the production of intimate devotional images that are noteworthy for their consistently high quality. This image of the Virgin nursing evokes a poetic mood. To the left stands St. John the Baptist, dressed as a hermit in a hair shirt. On his banderole is the inscription "ECC [E AGNUS DEI]" ("This is the Lamb of God"). At right, St. Catherine of Alexandria holds a palm branch and a small spiked wheel, identifying her as a martyr. The composition is conceived like a low relief, with strong side lighting that accentuates the modeling of the figures. Although the paint on this panel has been abraded, Neroccio's refined, elegant figure style and soft, pale palette are fully developed here.


Leon Somzée, Brussels (sale, Brussels, 24 May 1904, lot 287, as Matteo di Giovanni);
Josef Cremer, Dortmund, Germany (sale, Berlin, Wertheim, 29 May 1929, lot 114, as Neroccio), to;
[Duveen Brothers, New York, stock no. 29490, sold 1965 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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