18
18

PROPERTY FROM AN ENGLISH PRIVATE COLLECTION

Francesco Botticini
THE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH THE INFANT SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST IN A LANDSCAPE
Estimate
150,000200,000
LOT SOLD. 494,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
18

PROPERTY FROM AN ENGLISH PRIVATE COLLECTION

Francesco Botticini
THE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH THE INFANT SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST IN A LANDSCAPE
Estimate
150,000200,000
LOT SOLD. 494,500 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale

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London

Francesco Botticini
FLORENCE 1446 - 1497
THE MADONNA AND CHILD WITH THE INFANT SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST IN A LANDSCAPE

Provenance

Possibly Villa Pasquale;
George Ashburnham, 3rd Earl of Ashburnham (1760-1830);
Thence by descent in the Ashburnham collection;
Until sold by the Trustees of the Ashburnham Settled Estates and The Executors of Lady Catherine Ashburnham, London, Sotheby's, 24 June 1953, lot 17, for £1,600 to Arthur Tooth & Sons, London;
From whom acquired by the father of the present owner.

Literature

Ashburnham Inventory, 1830;
A List of pictures in Ashburnham house in Dover Street made by the fourth Earl just before his death in 1878, London 1878, where listed as from Villa Pasquale;
B. Berenson, The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance, New York 1900, p.109 (as Botticini);
B. Berenson, The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance with an Index to their Works, New York 1909, p. 120 (as Botticini);
R. van Marle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, The Hague 1931, vol. XIII, p. 416, note 1 (as Botticini);
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. A list of the principal artists and their works with an index of places. Florentine School, London 1963, vol. I, p. 39, vol. II, reproduced plate 1067 (as Botticini);
M. Bacci, Piero di Cosimo, Milan 1966, p. 117 (as Maestro delle Adorazioni);
L. Venturini, in M. Gregori (ed.), Maestri e botteghe. Pittura a Firenze alla fine del Quattrocento, Milan 1992, pp. 153, 245, reproduced p. 156, fig. 15 (as Botticini);
L. Venturini, Francesco Botticini, Florence 1994, pp. 125-126, 206, cat. no. 70, reproduced p. 206, fig.109 (as Botticini).

Catalogue Note

This beautiful tondo of the Madonna and Child is a characteristic work by Francesco Botticini and is typical of the paintings produced for private devotion in Renaissance Florence. Since Berenson (see Literature) first attributed the work to Botticini in 1900, the paternity of the work has only ever been doubted by Mina Bacci who ascribes it, as well as other panels showing the Madonna adoring the Christ Child, to an artist she calls the Maestro delle Adorazioni. All other scholars, including Lisa Venturini in her catalogue raisonné on the artist from 1994 (see Literature), have attributed the work to Botticini.

The theme of the Madonna and Child is one Botticini visited several times. The design is closely linked to the tondo in the Cassa di Risparmio in Florence, though the figure of the Infant Saint John is omitted from the latter painting, while the pose of the Virgin and the lower part of Jesus' body must be based on the same cartoon.1 Both paintings show imaginary walled cities in the distance in similarly expansive and detailed landscapes, populated by scattered flowers conceived in a decorative rather than naturalistic idiom.

The lovely condition of the surface, due in part to the stability of the panel support which unusually consists of only one plank, allows us to fully appreciate the delicate glazes of the Madonna's face and robes which point to the influence of Verrocchio and Botticelli, as well as the details of her golden hair, her veil and the decorated borders of her blue mantle.

The early provenance from Villa Pasquale is listed in the Ashburnham inventories of 1830 and 1878 but is not substantiated.




1. See Venturini, under Literature, p. 125, reproduced p. 206, fig. 108, and reproduced in colour on the dust jacket.

Old Master & British Paintings Evening Sale

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London