Ercole de' Roberti, Between 1482 and 1486

WAG 2773

About this object

This centre predella panel is part of a large altarpiece that is still in the church of San Giovanni in Monte, Bologna. Originally the panel was positioned above the altar directly in front of the priest's face as he celebrated mass.

Pietà (Italian for 'pity') was a type of Northern European devotional subject that is without scriptural basis. Pietàs were imported to Italy from about 1450. Christ's unidealised blood-drained body, Mary's angular black cloak, her anguished face and tender clasping of her dead son all combine to create an intense emotional effect. This is usually considered Ercole's masterpiece and is one of the finest works to come from the collection of William Roscoe.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Ercole de' Roberti (Italian, born:about 1455/6, died:1496)
  • Date
    Between 1482 and 1486
  • Materials
    Oil paint; Tempera; Panel
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 34.3 cm x 31.1 cm
  • Physical description
    A scene depicting a female figure (Mary) clasping a limp male body (Jesus) who is pale and draped over her knee. Mary wears a black cloak and looks down at Jesus, holding his wrist in her hand. Jesus is lying on his back with only his groin covered by white drapery.
  • Related people
    Ercole de' Roberti (Artist/maker); Liverpool Royal Institution (Previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 2773
  • Credit line
    Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by the Liverpool Royal Institution in 1948
  • Location
    Walker Art Gallery, Room 01
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • Liverpool Royal Institution

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1948
    Disposal method: Presented to the Walker Art Gallery


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: 202
    Inscription method: Paint
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Back
  • Inscription text: '4'
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
  • Inscription text: '12'
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
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