Lot 103
  • 103

Cecco di Pietro

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Cecco di Pietro
  • The Baptism of Christ
  • tempera on panel, gold ground


Turin, Antichi Maestri Pittori, Antichi Maestri Pittori. Quindici Anni di Studi e Ricerche, 6 October - 18 December 1993, no. 5.


L. Cavazzini, in G. Romano, Antichi Maestri Pittori Quindici Anni di Studi e Ricerche, exhibition catalogue, Turin, 6 October - 18 December 1993, pp. 42-45, cat. no. 5, reproduced.

Catalogue Note

Cecco di Pietro was one of the leading artists working in Pisa during the last quarter of the 14th century. He is first documented in 1370 when he is known to have assisted on the restoration of frescoes in the Camposanto. Four years later he signed a painting of Saint Simon Enthroned (now lost) but his first extant work is his signed triptych of 1377 showing the Pietà with Six Saints (Museo Nazionale di San Matteo, Pisa).

As Laura Cavazzini has mentioned (see Literature), the elaborate punchwork on the haloes is characteristic of painting in Pisa during the second half of the 14th century. It reappears in almost identical form in Cecco's predella of the Crucifixion and in the two pilasters from his 'Agnano Polyptych', his latest surviving signed and dated work, painted in 1386 for the convent of Santa Marta and now divided between the Cassa di Risparmio di Pisa (where the main body of the polyptych is held) and the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo, Pisa (where the three surviving predellas and two pilasters are).1  Characteristic of Cecco is the dark outlining of the figures: in The Baptism of Christ this line clearly marks Christ and John the Baptist's silhouettes as well as the angels' profiles. The angels themselves are physiognomically very close to the figures of Mary Magdalene and John the Evangelist in the Crucifixion predella, in which both are shown in profile with their hair tucked behind their ears.

1. For the main altarpiece, pilasters and three surviving scenes from the predella see K. Ault, "A predella panel from Cecco di Pietro's Agnano altar-piece", in The Burlington Magazine, vol. CXXXIII, no. 1064, November 1991, pp. 766-70, especially pp. 768-69, figs. 18-23 (the pilasters are figs. 19-20 and the Crucifixion predella fig. 21).