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PROPERTY SOLD BY THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

Lorenzo di Bicci
MADONNA OF HUMILITY WITH TWO ANGELS
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 56,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT
30

PROPERTY SOLD BY THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

Lorenzo di Bicci
MADONNA OF HUMILITY WITH TWO ANGELS
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 56,250 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Paintings

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New York

Lorenzo di Bicci
DOCUMENTED IN FLORENCE 1370 - 1427
MADONNA OF HUMILITY WITH TWO ANGELS

Provenance

James Kerr-Lawson, Florence, by 1910;
From whom acquired by Martin A. Ryerson, Chicago, 1910 until 1932;
By descent to his widow, Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson, Chicago, until 1937;
By whom bequeathed to the Art Institute of Chicago, in 1937 (Acc.no. 1937.1004).

Exhibited

Chicago, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Old and New Masters of Religious Art, 1931, no. 75;
Decatur, Illinois, Art Center, Masterpieces of the Old and New World, 1948, no. 11.

Literature

B. Berenson, Pitture italiane del Rinascimento, Milan 1936, p. 235 (as Jacopo di Cione);
Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago.  A Catalogue of the Picture Collection, Chicago 1961, pp. 246-7 (as Jacopo di Cione);
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance:  Florentine School, London 1963, vol. 1, p. 103 (as Jacopo di Cione);
F. Zeri, “Early Italian Pictures in the Kress Collection”, in Burlington Magazine 109, 1967, p. 477;
B. Fredericksen and F. Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Cambridge, Mass. 1972, pp. 110, 318, 571;
M. Boskovits, Pittura fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento, 1370-1400, Florence 1975, pp. 108, 331, reproduced fig. 129;
I. Hecht, “Madonna of Humility”, in Art Institute of Chicago Bulletin 70, 6, 1976, p. 10, reproduced fig. 1;
R. Offner, A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting:  A Legacy of Attributions, ed. H.B. J. Maginnis, New York 1981, p. 39;
C. Lloyd, Italian Paintings before 1600 in The Art Institute of Chicago.  A Catalogue of the Collection, Chicago 1993, pp. 138-40, reproduced, p. 139.

Catalogue Note

First published by Bernard Berenson in 1936, this Madonna of humility with two angels was thought to be the work of Jacopo di Cione, a brother of Orcagna, an attribution that remained largely unchallenged until the 1960s when Evelyn Sandburg-Vavalà suggested an attribution to Bicci di Lorenzo.1  It was, however, Richard Offner who first proposed the panel to have been executed by Bicci’s father, Lorenzo di Bicci, an opinion shared and later published by Federico Zeri in 1967.2  In 1975, Miklos Boskovits corroborated that attribution, dating the painting between 1375 and 1380.3 

The iconography here is typical of the traditional Madonna dell’umiltà: while the cloth of honor suspended by two angels behind recalls the resplendence of an enthroned Madonna, here she sits modestly on a cushion, laying emphasis on the humility of her character, as a protective mother nursing her child.  In the 1993 Art Institute of Chicago catalogue, the panel is linked to a group of similar pictures intended for private devotion, also given to Lorenzo di Bicci, in which the Madonnas each share the typically rounded facial type seen here and the somewhat stiff pose that characterize many of Lorenzo’s figures.4

 

1. See B. Berenson under Literature, op. cit.; Sandburg-Vavalà’s opinion is noted in the Art Institute of Chicago curatorial files.
2.  See R. Offner and F. Zeri under Literature, op. cit.
3.  See M. Boskovitz under Literature, op. cit.
4.  For further images of this subject by Lorenzo di Bicci see M. Boskovits, op. cit., figs. 130-133.

Old Master Paintings

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