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After Gentile di Niccolò Massio, called Gentile da Fabriano
MARY MAGDALEN
JUMP TO LOT
1
After Gentile di Niccolò Massio, called Gentile da Fabriano
MARY MAGDALEN
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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After Gentile di Niccolò Massio, called Gentile da Fabriano
MARY MAGDALEN
gold ground and oil on canvas, laid on panel, with an applied frame


This is a 19th-century copy after a panel from the Valle Romita Polyptych, datable to 1410–12, by one of the greatest late Gothic artists, Gentile da Fabriano. The original polyptych altarpiece is today in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan.1 The central panel depicts the Coronation of the Virgin, while the four large panels surrounding this depict 'Saint Jerome', 'Saint Francis of Assisi', 'Saint Dominic' and 'Mary Magdalen', who are all shown standing in a garden. The four, smaller upper panels picture 'Saint John the Baptist Praying in the Desert', the 'Martyrdom of Saint Peter of Verona', a 'Franciscan Saint Reading' and 'Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata'.

The attention to minutiae exemplifies the International Gothic style, which flourished in Europe in the late 14th century and early 15th century. This style was characterised by an interest in the naturalistic rendering of details coupled with the depiction of elegant, elongated figures, in rich, decorative clothing and settings.

Although no documentary evidence remains, it is believed that the original polyptych may have been commissioned by Chiavello Chiavelli, lord of Fabriano, who had the monastery of Valdisasso restored in 1406 and selected it as the place for his own burial. The altarpiece was reassembled at the Pinacoteca di Brera between 1811 and 1901, having been previously dismembered, perhaps in as early as the 18th century.

1 https://pinacotecabrera.org/en/collezione-online/opere/valle-romita-polyptych/


Overall dimensions: 163.5 x 45.8 cm.; 64 3/8  x 18 in.
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Provenance

Anonymous sale, New York, Christie's, 10 October 1990, lot 130, to an anonymous collector;
By whom sold, London, Bonhams Knightsbridge, 30 April 2014, lot 31;
Where acquired by the present owner.

Old Master Copies Online

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London