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Details & Cataloguing

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Jacobello del Fiore
VENICE ACTIVE 1370 - 1439
THE MADONNA OF HUMILITY
tempera and gold on panel
36.9 by 26 cm.; 14 1/2  by 10 1/4  in.
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Provenance

Anonymous sale ('Property from a Private Estate'), New York, Christie's, 6th June 2012, lot 7, for $98,000.

Catalogue Note

This jewel-like painting is by Jacobello del Fiore, one of the leading artists working in Venice during the early 15th century. The picture can be dated circa 1420 and is painted in the late international gothic style which is characterised by an overall elegance and refinement. The simplicity of the composition contrasts with the high degree of detail seen in the punchwork and tooling to the halos and Christ Child's cloak, as well as the fine gold tracery to the outline and decoration of the Madonna's mantle.

The distinctive facial type of the Madonna can be compared directly to Jacobello's altarpiece of the Madonna of Mercy with Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, signed and dated 1436, today in the Accademia, Venice.1 Both works reveal an artist looking back to the Byzantine tradition yet influenced by painters of the late international gothic period, including Gentile da Fabriano, with whom Jacobello is known to have collaborated on the decoration of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio in the Doge's Palace, Venice.

At the time of the 2012 sale (see under provenance) the attribution to Jacobello del Fiore was endorsed by Everett Fahy, who proposed a date of circa 1420.2

1 See B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Venetian School, London 1957, vol. I, reproduced fig. 35.

2 Information according to Christie's 2012 sale catalogue entry.

The Midas Touch

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London