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PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Marco d' Oggiono
MADONNA AND CHILD BEFORE A LANDSCAPE
Estimate
600,000800,000
JUMP TO LOT
20

PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Marco d' Oggiono
MADONNA AND CHILD BEFORE A LANDSCAPE
Estimate
600,000800,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Master Paintings Evening Sale

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Marco d' Oggiono
OGGIONO 1470/75-MILAN 1524
MADONNA AND CHILD BEFORE A LANDSCAPE
oil on a single walnut panel
30 1/2  by 23 1/2  in.; 77.5 by 59.7 cm.
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Provenance

With Altomani & Sons, Milan and Pesaro;
From whom acquired by the present collector in 2007.

Catalogue Note

This unpublished and remarkably well-conserved Madonna nursing the Christ Child before a landscape was painted in circa 1515 by Marco d’Oggiono, one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most accomplished followers. Marco is recorded as an apprentice to Leonardo in 1490 but soon became an independent master, and the following year was awarded jointly with Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio the commission for the altarpiece in the Griffi Chapel in the church of San Giovanni sul Muro in Milan. Only the centerpiece of the work survives, a Resurrection with Saints Leonard and Lucy, today in the Staatliche Museen, Berlin.1 Marco’s work was highly regarded during his lifetime and he was active throughout Lombardy: in 1501 he was hired by Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, later Pope Julius II, to execute the lost frescoes in Savona Cathedral.2

Leonardo’s influence is inescapable in the meticulously observed and carefully executed drapery, with its gentle gradations of color and light. With great sensitivity Marco creates form and volume through the use of shadows, particularly in the body of the Child. The use of highlights in the Madonna’s blue mantle, as well as those in Her headscarf, may be closely compared to the drapery of the Archangel Michael in the altarpiece from circa 1516 depicting the Three Archangels in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan.3

In both the present work and the Brera altarpiece, the layering of the clouds is remarkably consistent, as is the blue tonality of the furthest background. The use of blue to create depth and recession in the landscape was championed by Leonardo and soon spread throughout Europe, in a technique called aerial perspective. The physiognomies, the overall design, and the sfumato effect, are also all echoes of Leonardo’s work and recall the painting of the same subject by Boltraffio, but at times given to Leonardo, in the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg.4

Professor Andrea De Marchi associates the present panel with an Allegory of the Passion of very similar dimensions (75 by 57 cm.) which is listed in a private collection in Como.5 De Marchi proposes the two works may have been conceived as a diptych, though their designs work independently of each other. The present work would have hung to the left, with the Madonna’s body facing Christ in the right panel.

The attribution has been endorsed by Dr Everett Fahy and Professor Andrea De Marchi, on whose report this entry is based.

1. See D. Sedini, Marco d'Oggiono, tradizione e rinnovamento in Lombardia tra Quattrocento e Cinquecento, Milan 1989, pp. 26-28, cat. no. 1, reproduced.
2. Ibid., p. 51, cat. no. 17.
3. Ibid., pp. 102-08, cat. no. 40, reproduced in color.
4. See M.T. Fiorio, Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, un pittore milanese nel lume di Leonardo, Milan 2000, pp. 81-83, cat. no. A3, reproduced in color and also L. Syson et al., Leonardo Da Vinci, Painter at the Court of Milan, exhibition catalogue, London 2011, 222-25, cat. no. 57, reproduced in color.
5. Sedini, op. cit., pp. 122-24, cat. no. 46, reproduced in color.

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