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The Cover
December 22 2010

Madonna and Child

JAMA. 2010;304(24):2672. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1767

Carlo Crivelli (circa 1435-1493), the Venetian-born painter who spent six months in prison for “carnal knowledge of [a woman] in contempt of God and holy matrimony” in 1457, fled his native city for safer environs, never to return. However, Crivelli maintained his pride of place, nearly always including “Veneti” in his signature. The affair with Tarsia Cortese, the wife of a sailor, may not have been intertwined with violence or abduction, since Crivelli's sentence appears to have been on the lenient side, for that type of—apparently common—infraction in mid–15th-century Venice. Details of Crivelli's early life remain nebulous, but he was from a family of artists. His younger brother Vittore later became one of Carlo's few pupils, an assistant in the small Crivelli entourage.