Lot 6
  • 6

Pietro di Domenico

80,000 - 100,000 USD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Pietro di Domenico
  • The Madonna and Child with Saints Peter and Paul
  • inscribed on the reverse in a late 19th-century (?) hand: Pietro di Domenico of Siena
  • tempera on panel, marouflaged, gold ground


Madame d'Oliviera, Florence, until 1887;
Acquired from the above by Coudert Brothers LLP, New York, 1887-88;
By whom given to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 1888, inv. no. 88.3.100 (all the above as Pietro di Domenico).


F.M. Perkins, "Pitture senesi negli Stati Uniti," in Rassegna d'arte senese, vol. I, no. 2, 1905, p. 78 (as Pietro di Domenico);
B. Berenson, "Quadri senza casa: Il Quattrocento senese, II," in Dedalo, 11, 1930-31, pp. 763-64, reproduced (as tentatively attributed to Pietro di Domenico);
R.C. Morrison, "An Elusive Minor Sienese Master of the Fifteenth Century," in Art in America, 18, October 1930, pp. 305-06, 309, reproduced fig. 1 (as Pietro di Domenico);
B. Berenson, "Lost Works of the Last Sienese Masters - Part III," in International Studio, 98, April 1931, p. 22, reproduced fig. 14 (as tentatively attributed to Pietro di Domenico);
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Oxford 1932, p. 456 (as tentatively attributed to Pietro di Domenico);
F. Mason Perkins, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler, 27, Leipzig 1933, p. 18 (as Pietro di Domenico);
B. Berenson, Pitture italiane del Rinascimento, Milan 1936, p. 392 (as a youthful work by Pietro di Domenico);
R. van Marle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, The Renaissance Painters of Tuscany, The Hague 1937, vol. XVI, p. 456, reproduced fig. 264 (as either the youthful Pietro di Domenico or an anonymous painter);
H.B. Wehle, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings, New York 1940, vol. I, pp. 94-95, reproduced (as by Pietro di Domenico);
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools, London 1968, vol. I, p. 343 (as by Pietro di Domenico);
B. Berenson, Homeless Paintings of the Renaissance, Wiesbaden 1969, pp. 72-74, reproduced fig. 112 (as tentatively attributed to the youthful Pietro di Domenico);
B.B. Fredericksen and F. Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1972, pp. 240, 347, 439, 442, 605 (as by an anonymous Sienese painter);
F. Zeri, Italian Paintings in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore 1976, vol. I, p. 131 (as by an anonymous Sienese painter);
F. Zeri and E.E. Gardner, Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sienese and Central Italian Schools, New York 1980, p. 99, reproduced plate 85 (as by an unknown Sienese painter active outside Siena);
K. Baetjer, European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born in or Before 1865, New York 1980, vol. I, p. 96, reproduced vol. II, p. 74 (as Sienese, late 15th Century);
K. Baetjer, European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865, a Summary Catalogue, New York 1995, p. 65, reproduced (as Sienese School, late 15th Century);
M.S. Frinta, "Part I: Catalogue Raisonné of All Punch Shapes," in Punched Decoration on Late Medieval Panel and Miniature Painting, Prague 1998, pp. 222, 234, 365, 386, 469, 475, 539, reproduced pp. 234, 386 (as Sienese School, close to Benvenuto di Giovanni).


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. Although this work is unframed, it is certainly ready to hang in current condition. It has not necessarily been recently cleaned, but nonetheless it is very attractive. The gilded areas behind the figures heads are very bright and in good condition. The paint layer itself is in lovely condition. Under ultraviolet light examination, one can see a handful of small dots in the center of the left side and in the center and upper right of the right side. These may address small woodworm holes or similar small losses, but the paint layer in general is very fresh. On the reverse, one can see that the panel is continuous and although there is what appears to be an added section about an inch wide running from top to bottom down the left side, this looks like it is simply a different level, which has been treated with wax for some reason. The grain of the wood is continuous when viewed from the side on the top edge. From the front, it can be seen that the extreme edges of the panel are recessed in order to present the painted areas slightly further forward than the remainder of the painting. This seems to be a device rather than any indication of a different piece of wood. Therefore it is more than likely that this work is painted on a single piece of wood.
"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

Though Fredericksen and Zeri challenged the long standing attribution of this panel in 1972 (see Literature), modern scholars have since restored its authorship to Pietro di Domenico.  The panel certainly displays many of the features typical of small works which were produced in Siena in this period which were destined for domestic devotion. The cramped composition, as well as the placement of the Madonna and Child close to the pictorial space as the background saints occupy a secondary position, both literally and figuratively, are characteristic of the city's artistic idiom of the time. Compare the two works by Matteo di Giovanni and Studio in this sale (lots 3 and 4) or, for example, the Madonna and Child with Saints Jerome and Bernardino by Neroccio di Bartolommeo Landi (1447-1500) in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena. Though only Saint Peter is immediately recognizable iconographically via his traditional attribute, the keys, it is safe to assume that the other figure represented is Paul, despite the absence of his usual sword, since he is the saint most often paired with Peter.

In 1930 Richard Morrison (see Literature) grouped together a homogenous group of paintings, including the present panel, which he ascribed to Pietro di Domenico. Other works, all of similar size, include: a Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Jerome in the Seminario Arcivescovile, Siena;2 a Madonna and Child with Saints Bernardino and Anthony of Padua in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, in which the Virgin, whose face was probably painted by Bernardino Fungai, is also suckling the Child;Madonna and Child with Saints Bernardino and Catherine of Siena in the Piccolomini collection, Siena; a Madonna and Child formerly in the Ourosoff collection, Vienna and later in the Straus collection, New York; a Madonna and Child with Saints Bartholomew and Jerome in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena.4

Heavily influenced by Bernardino Fungai and developing a style which is indebted in turn to Benvenuto di Giovanni and Girolamo di Benvenuto, Pietro di Domenico thus worked within the standard Sienese context of the time but was not always able to reach the high level of his more distinguished counterparts. It is perhaps for this reason that in considering the present work to be by an anonymous artist, Zeri and Gardner (see Literature, 1980) speculated that "...the author probably did not work in Siena itself but in some provincial center of the Sienese Republic."

1. See P. Torriti, La Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena, I dipinti, Genoa 1990, p. 270, cat. no. 281, reproduced in color fig. 342.
2. See Morrison, under Literature, reproduced fig. 3.
3. F. Zeri, Italian Paintings in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore 1976, pp. 130-31, cat. no. 88, reproduced plate 70.
4. See Torriti, op. cit., pp. 304-05, cat. no. 284, reproduced fig. 384.