Lot 28
  • 28

Jacobello del Fiore

40,000 - 60,000 USD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Jacobello del Fiore
  • The Madonna and Child ('Madonna of Humility')
  • tempera on panel, gold ground, within an engaged frame


Dan Fellows Platt, Englewood, New Jersey;
With E. & A. Silberman Galleries, New York;
Acquired by the High Museum, Atlanta, 1942 (Friends of Art purchase, inv. no. 1942.15);
Deaccessioned in 2004 by the High Museum from whom acquired by the Salander-O'Reilly Gallery, New York.



Monclair, New Jersey, Montclair Art Museum; Grand Rapids, Michigan, Grand Rapids Art Gallery, Religious Art From Giotto to Gauguin, April - May 1941, no. 34 (as Lippo de Dalmazio Scannabecchi).


B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Venetian School, London 1957, Vol. I, p. 93;
E.M. Zafran, European Art in the High Museum, Atlanta 1984, pp. 27-28, reproduced.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com , an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This panel has developed a fairly noticeable curve running from left to right and additionally the panel has twisted so it presents itself in a slightly more unique fashion as a result. As is so often the case with work from this period the paint layers are quite worn and cracked. The gilding to the background and the frame may not all be period but is certainly attractive. There are restorations situated throughout the figure attending to abrasion and cracking. The grass on which the figures stand is still dirty but in quite good condition. Other than adjusting a few retouches in the dress, no restoration is recommended.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

According to the 1984 High Museum catalogue (see Literature), Berenson was the first to correctly identify this painting as a work by Jacobello del Fiore when it was in the Platt collection.  At that time, the Christ Child was shown holding a palm frond in his left hand.  At a later date, this detail was removed and the painting acquired an attribution to Lippo di Dalmazio di Scannabecchi.  Subsequently, Everett Fahy, Rodolfo Palluchini and Miklòs Boskovits all accepted it as a work by Jacobello.  Boskovits dated it as an early work, to circa 1395-1405.

Jacobello del Fiore was one of the leading painters in the Veneto during the first third of 15th century. His early style harks back to Byzantine art and depictions of the Madonna.  However, later in his career Jacobello integrated ideas and techniques from contemporaries such as Gentile da Fabriano. 

Jacobello, who was known for his representations of the Madonna, of which this Madonna of Humility is a fine example, has imbued the composition with a sense of softness and tenderness rarely seen in Byzantine iconography.  The formal eastern iconography of this subject, depicting the Madonna facing the viewer, holding a stiffly posed and fully clothed child, has been slightly modified by Jacobello. Here, the Madonna, seated on a grassy patch, is slightly turned towards the child with her head inclined to the right.  The child, while still fully clothed, reaches out to his mother in a somewhat playful gesture.  This more intimate portrayal is also apparent in another work by Jacobello, formerly in the Berenson collection, Florence.1

1.  Reproduced in B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Venetian School, vol. I, London 1957, fig. 38.