Lot 14
  • 14

Giovanni Pietro Rizzi Pedrini called Giampetrino

200,000 - 300,000 USD
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  • Giovanni Pietro Rizzi Pedrini called Giampetrino
  • Virgin and Child
  • tempera on panel


D.F. Platt, Englewood, New Jersey;
E.J. Carpenter;
Victor D. Spark, New York;
By whom anymously sold, New York, Sotheby's, 14 January 1988, lot 57.


Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1914. 


B. Berenson, North Italian Painters of the Renaissance, London 1907, p. 233;
F. Mason Perkins, "Dipinti Italiani nella Raccolta Platt", in Rassegna d'Arte, September 1911, p. 149, reproduced;
W.R. Valentiner, "Two Paintings Acquired for the Minneapolis Museum of Art", in Art in America, February 1914, vol. II, pp. 162-164, reproduced;
Bulletin (Minneapolis Institute of Art), March 1914, vol. 111, p. 31;
B. Berenson, Pittura Italiana di Rinascimento, 1936, p. 198;
B. Berenson, Italian Painters of the Renaissance: Central and North Italian Schools, 1968, p. 169.


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 work is on a thick and healthy panel. It has three horizontal battens on the reverse, but there is only one small crack in the center of the top edge. The paint layer is stable, and the panel is flat. The work has become noticeably dirty. When cleaned, it is unlikely that any significant retouches will be exposed. At present, one can see that a few cracks in the shoulder of Christ and in the neck and head of the Madonna have been retouched. Although the work would be very presentable as is with a fresh varnish, it would improve further if cleaned.
"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

In a vague reference made towards the end of his first Milanese sojourn, Leonardo da Vinci lists amongst the garzoni and pupils in his studio a certain "gian petro."1  This is the first probable reference to an artist who would become Leonardo's most faithful and productive interpreter in Lombardy, Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli, nicknamed Giampietrino. In a somewhat unusual inversion of art history, the artistic personality of Giampietrino has been understood for much longer than has his historical profile.  A cohesive body of work has been attributed and discussed by art historians for most of the 20th Century; Giampietrino's style is easily distinguished from the other Leonardeschi who worked in Sforza Milan.   His paintings are distinctive, and share the same soft modelling, strong drawing, and interest in lush color.  But secure facts about his life—even his family name—were unknown until relatively recently.   In addition to the quick reference made by Leonardo himself, period sources mention artists which have sometimes been associated with Giampietrino, and which have somewhat confused the issue.  The Milanese writer and painter Gianpaolo Lomazzo mentions in his famous Trattato a certain "Pietro Riccio milanese pittore, discepolo di Leonardo da Vinci....degn[o] d'essere celebrat[o] e propost[o] per esempio ed imitare."For many years, this was assumed to be the artist we know now as Giampietrino.  This supposition, however, has since been proven false, and the artist "Riccio" or more properly "Rizzi" is now known to have been of an earlier generation, active in the 1480s and 1490s.3  Similarly, he had been in the past associated with an artist called Giovanni Pedrini, although that identification has now been discounted, and we now know that the artist, who has always been known by his correct soprannomeof Giampietrino, is in fact now securely identifiable as Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli.4

The present composition appears to have been well received as at least three further versions are extant: in the Cook collection, Richmond, Surrey; Keresztény Múzeum, Hungary; and in the Porro collection, Lonate Pozzolo, Varese.5

1. Codex Atlanticus, fol.713r; ex fol. 264 r-b, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan.  See P. C. Marani, Leonardo e il Leonardeschi a Brera, Florence 1987, p. 12, who states that the reference must almost certainly be that to Giampietrino, and that the date of the reference should be dateable to circa 1497-1500.
2. Trans ["Pietro Riccio Milanese painter, pupil of Leonardo da Vinci.... worthy of praise and put foward as an example to be imitated"] G.Lomazzo, Trattato dell'arte della pittura, Milan 1584, pp. 695, 679.
3. The near-homonymous character of the name Rizzi and the artist's actual name Rizzoli have only served to create more confusion.
4.  See J. Shell, D.A. Brown, P. Brambilla Barcilon, Giampietrino e una copia cinquecentesca dell'ultima cena di Leonardo, Milan 1988.
5. As described in the Photo Archive of the Fondazione Federico Zeri.