Lot 33
  • 33

Boccaccio Boccaccino

80,000 - 120,000 USD
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  • Boccaccio Boccaccino
  • The Madonna and Child Enthroned with a Donor
  • Indistinctly inscribed and possibly signed lower left, on a cartellino: Dona[...]...maria...la...Td[r?]en verro B[oc?] az... ...us...sir M...
  • oil on panel, shaped top


The Church of San Francesco, Cremona;
With Carrer, Venice, until 1882;
From whom purchased by Johann II, Prince of Liechtenstein, Duke of Troppau and Jägerndorf (1840-1929), for 1,400 lire;
Thence by descent in the Liechtenstein City Palace, Vienna from October 1896 until August 1903, when moved to Seebenstein, Neunkirchen, Lower Austria, until April 1906, when returned to Vienna (Vienna inv. no. 645/4), until February 1941, when moved to Gaming, Styria, until February 1945, when moved to Lauffen bei Ischl, until April 1945, when moved to Schloss Vaduz, Liechtenstein;
By whom sold ("Property from the Collection of the Princely House of Liehtenstein"), London, Christie's, 9 July 2008, lot 105;
There purchased by the present collector.


V. Lancetti, Biografia Cremonese, Cremona 1820, p. 372;
F. Sacchi, Notizie pittoriche cremonesi, Cremona 1872, p. 17;
G. Gronau, "Unveröffentlichte Bilder des Boccaccio Boccaccino", in Belvedere, 1929, p. 253;
A. Kronfeld, Führer durch die Fürstlich Liechtensteinsche Gemäldegalerie in Wien, Vienna 1931, p. 175, no. 877;
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Oxford 1932, p. 88;
B. Berenson, Pitture Italiane del Rinascimento, Milan 1936, p. 76;
A. Puerari, Boccaccino, Milan 1957, pp. 107-9 and 228-9, fig. 74;
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools, London 1968, I, p. 53, III, pl. 1660;
M. Tanzi, Boccaccio Boccaccino, Soncino, 1991, p. 18, fig. 7 (in stripped state).


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. With a few adjustments to the current retouches, this work should be hung as is. The panel has been thinned and cradled, and is now slightly curved from left to right. The paint layer is stable and what appears to be an original join running down the middle of the panel is restored. The surface could be very lightly cleaned but we do not suggest removing any of the restorations. The condition throughout is compromised but the restoration to a degree attempts to repair the damage. The most noticeable and poorest retouching is in the white floor beneath the red rug and this should certainly be adjusted.
"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

Boccaccio Boccaccino is first recorded in Genoa in 1493, the year in which he was commissioned to complete the high altarpiece for Santa Maria della Consolazione (now lost). In 1497 he began executing works under the patronage of the Duke of Ferrara, for whom he worked until 1500. Following a short trip to Venice, Boccaccino settled in Cremona, where he would remain for the rest of his career. In 1506 he completed fresco work in the Cremona Cathedral, most notably his Christ in Glory among Saints, and would continue to execute works in the Cathedral throughout his career. The present work appears to be the central panel of an altarpiece dated 1511, and recorded in the Church of San Francesco at Cremona by Lancetti in 1820 (see Literature). The side panels, which are described as representing Saint John and Saint Frances are untraced.

The figures here may be compared with those of the half-length Madonna and Child formerly in the Wedells Collection, Hamburg (see Literature, Puerari 1957, fig. 68) a variant of which is in the Museo Civico, Vicenza. In its planar format and bright color pallete, this work is clearly indebted to the influence of Bellini, which is unsurprising given Boccaccino's stay in Venice at the beginning of the century.

In 1898 Seraphin Maurer executed a copy of the head of the donor, here depicted lower right, for the Liechtenstein Collection (inv. no. 874, see Provenance).