Although it was not until 1975 that the Boskovits definitively published this panel as Jacopo di Cione, it had in fact been associated with that hand from a much earlier date. On the occasion of its exhibition in 1964 (see Exhibited), this painting was published by Mia Cinotti, citing a letter from Roberto Longhi, attributing it to the so-called Master of Calenzano (see Literature).4 The master was named after an Annunciation in the church of San Niccolo in Calezano near Prato, and had been published a year earlier by Bernard Berenson in 1963.5 Berenson identified the Master of Calenzano as Jacopo di Cione, at the very dawn of his career. Jacopo was the younger brother of Andrea, Matteo and Nardo di Cione, and in his earliest activity was thought imitate the style of Nardo, and indeed that brother's distinctive soft contours are visible here. Boskovits corroborated Berenson’s attribution of the Annunciation, noting the influence of the artist’s brother, Nardo, in the manner of its execution.6 Boskovits and Tartuferi both stress the impact of a second artist in early paintings by Jacopo, that of Giotto di Maestro Stefano, also called Giottino. Giottino was one of the most prominent painters in Florence in the third quarter of the 14th century and his influence on Jacopo was arguably greater than that of the elder Cione brothers.
Both Offner and Boskovits regarded this Madonna and Child Enthroned as the central panel of a triptych, now separated from its lateral wings (see Literature). As Tartuferi indicates, however, there is no physical evidence attesting to that hypothesis and he proposes instead that the panel was intended as an autonomous altarpiece for private devotion.7
We are grateful to Laurence Kanter for endorsing the attribution on the basis of firsthand inspection, and proposing a dating to the early 1370s.
1. Private written communication, dated 5 November 2014, on the basis of firsthand inspection.
2. A. Tartuferi, under Literature.
4. M. Cinotti, under Literature, p. 13; Roberto Longhi’s letter was dated 1 November 1946.
5. B. Berenson, Italian pictures of the Renaissance, Florentine School, London 1963, p.103, reproduced 220.
6. M. Boskovits, under Literature, p. 322.
7. A. Tartuferi, op. cit.
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