This painting and its pendant The Seven Liberal Arts were made to decorate the front panels of cassoni (wooden chests). Cassoni were often commissioned in pairs for weddings, one each for the bride and groom. They were decorated with themes that held didactic messages, particularly for the wife. This one extols female virtue by depicting personifications of the seven virtues together with famous representatives of them.
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- Titles Seven Virtues (Proper)
- Artist Francesco Pesellino and Workshop, Italy, Florence about 1422 - 1457 Florence
- Medium tempera on panel
- Dimensions 16 3/8 x 57 7/8 in. (41.6 x 147 cm) frame: 20 1/4 × 61 3/4 × 2 1/2 in. (51.4 × 156.8 × 6.4 cm)
- Credit Line Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.102
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Signature None
- Marks None
- Inscription Recto, along top of painting: PRUDENZA JUSTITIA FIDES CHARITAS SPES FORTITUDO TEMPERANZA Verso, down cradle slat, upper left, black crayon: #68 M.F. Verso, down cradle slat, upper left, black paint: 9882 M.F. Verso, down center cradle slat, red embossed wax: [illegible. Maybe a seal] Verso, down center cradle slat, red embossed wax: [illegible. Maybe a seal]
- Provenance Giuseppe Toscanelli (1828-1891), Pisa [see note 1]; auctioned by Giulio Sambon, Florence, April 9–23, 1883, lot 61, as Castagno. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Vienna, by 1896 until at least 1928 [see note 2]. With Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi (1878-1955), Florence; purchased by Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955), New York, September 16, 1938 as Domenico di Michelino; gift to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1939, deaccessioned, 1952; returned to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation; on loan to the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, 1952–60, as Pesellino; on loan to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1960; gift of the Kress Foundation to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1961
1. According to the bill of sale from Contini-Bonacossi to Kress dated September 16, 1938. See object file.
2. Julius von Schlosser, Giustos Fresken in Padua und die Vorläufer der Stanza della Segnatura," Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 17 (1896): p. 34; Werner Weisbach, “Exposition a Berlin. D’Objets d’Art du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 20 (1898): p. 158; Salomon Reinach, Répertoire de Peintures du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance (1280-1580) (Paris: Ernest Leroux, 1910), 3: p. 751; Raimond Van Marle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1923-38), 19: p. 194.