Lot 4
  • 4

Battista di Biagio Sanguigni, formerly known as the Master of 1419

200,000 - 300,000 USD
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  • Battista di Biagio Sanguigni, formerly known as the Master of 1419
  • The left wing of the Santa Maria a Latera Altarpiece: Saints Julian and James the Greaterin the trefoil above, the Archangel Gabriel
  • tempera on panel, gold ground, triangular top, in an engaged frame
  • 77 x 26 3/4 inches


Commissioned in 1414 by Antonio di Domenico Giugni via a bequest in his will for the church of Santa Maria a Latera in the Mugello, though not completed until 1419;
Transferred after 1516 to the church of San Jacopo alla Cavallina, near Barberino, Mugello;
Chalandon collection, La Grange Blanche, Parcieux, near Trévoux;
Private collection, London.


New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fra Angelico, 26 October 2005 - 29 January 2006, cat. no. 40B.


G.M. Brocchi, Descrizione della provincia del Mugello..., Florence 1748, p. 179;
E. Repetti, Dizionario geografico fisico storico della Toscana, I, Florence 1833, p. 624;
P. Pouncey, in the Letters section of The Burlington Magazine, XCVI, 1954, p. 291, reproduced fig. 30;
W. Cohn, "Notizie storiche intorno ad alcune tavole fiorentine del '300 e' 400," in Rivista d'arte, series 3, VI, 1956, p. 49, footnote 30;
H.S. Francis, "Master of 1419", in The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum, XLIII, no. 10, December 1956, p. 212 and footnote 3;
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School, London 1963, vol. I, p. 217, reproduced plate 550 (with a reconstruction of the altarpiece);
A. Parronchi, Studi su la dolce prospettiva, Milan 1964, p. 133, footnote;
G. Vitalini Sacconi, Pittura marchigiana: la scuola camerinese, Trieste 1968, p. 231, footnote 190;
M. Boskovits, "Mariotto di Cristofano : un contributo all'ambiente culturale di Masaccio giovane", in Arte illustrata, II, no. 13/14, January - February 1969, pp. 7 and 13, footnote 15;
E.P. Pillsbury, Florentine Art in Cleveland Collections, Florence and the Arts, Five Centuries of Patronage, Cleveland 1971, unpaginated, cited under cat. no. 3 (with incorrect provenance), and footnote 3;
N.C. Wixom, in The Cleveland Museum of Art, Catalogue of Paintings: Part One: European Paintings Before 1500, Cleveland 1974, p. 90, under cat. no. 33, reproduced p. 91, fig. 33b (reconstruction of altarpiece);
S. Skerl del Conte, "Una tesi di laurea su 'Maestro del 1419' e Paolo Uccello," in Arte Cristiana, LXXI, no. 695, March - April 1983, pp. 176 and 182, footnote 20;
H.W. van Os, "Discoveries and Rediscoveries in Early Italian Painting", in Arte Cristiana, LXXI, no. 695, March - April 1983, pp. 74 and 79, footnote 20;
J. van Waadenoijen, Starnina e il gotico internazionale a Firenze, Florence 1983, p. 51 and footnotes 11 and 83;
M. Eisenberg, Lorenzo Monaco, Princeton 1989, p. 145;
G. Freuler, "Manifestatori delle cose miracolose", Arte italiana del '300 e '400 da collezioni in Svizzera e nei Liechtenstein, exhibition catalogue, Lugano 1991, p. 230, under cat. no. 90;
H. Brigstocke, Italian and Spanish Paintings in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh 1993, pp. 100 and 101, footnote 3;
A. Chong, European & American Paintings in The Cleveland Museum of Art: A Summary Catalogue, Cleveland 1993, p. 143;
P. Joannides, Masaccio and Masolino: A Complete Catalogue, London 1993, pp. 16, 22, 56, 353 and 426, under cat. no. 26, reproduced p. 17, plate 4 (with reconstruction of altarpiece);
C.B. Strehlke, "Fra Angelico Studies", in Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence, 1300-1450, exhibition catalogue, New York , Metropolitan Museum of Art, 17 November 1994 - 26 February 1995, p. 38, footnote 21;
F. Borsi and S. Borsi, Masaccio (trans. from the Italian by O. Ménégaux et al.), Paris 1998, pp. 52 and 199, footnote 24;
C.B Strehlke, Angelico, Milan 1998, p. 68, footnote 6;
M. Boskovits, "Ancora sul Maestro del 1419", in Arte Cristiana, XC, no. 812, September - October 2002, pp. 337-338;
L. Kanter, "Zanobi Strozzi miniatore and Battista di Biagio Sanguigni" , in Arte Cristiana, XC, no. 812, September - October 2002, pp. 327 and 329;
E.W. Rowlands, Masaccio: Saint Andrew and The Pisa Altarpiece, Los Angeles 2003, p. 15, reproduced p. 16, fig. 14 (reconstruction of altarpiece);
C.B. Strehlke, "The Princeton Penitent Saint Jerome, The Gaddi Family, and Early Fra Angelico", in The Record: Princeton University Art Museum, LXII, 2003, pp. 16-17;
L. Kanter, in L. Kanter and P. Palladino eds., Fra Angelico, exhibition catalogue, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 26 October 2005 - 29 January 2006, pp. 231-34, cat. no. 40B, reproduced in colour;
D. Parenti, "The World of Lorenzo Monaco: The Rise of the Late Gothic in Florentine Painting," in A. Tartuferi and D. Parenti eds., Lorenzo Monaco: A Bridge from Giotto's Heritage to the Renaissance, exhibition catalogue, Florence, Galleria dell'Accademia, 9 May - 24 September 2006, p. 71;
S. Blöcker, in O. Kornhoff ed., Tiepolo und das Antiliz Italiens: Kuntskammer Rau, Cologne 2009, p. 106, cited under cat. no. 3.


The following condition report has been provided by Karen Thomas of Thomas Art Conservation LLC., 336 West 37th Street, Suite 830, New York, NY 10018, 212-564-4024, info@thomasartconservation.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This picture is in a very good state of preservation despite some tenting and cupping in paint in the upper half of the figure of St. Julian. In general the figures are very well preserved. Restoration is scattered throughout both saints' blue garments, primarily in the shadows and along edges of cracks, and in portions of the decorative shapes surrounding the trefoil. A long narrow area to the right of St. James' walking stick is restoration, recognizable by its slight color difference. Shading in St. Julian's red garment, originally made with a thinly-applied, now-faded red lake paint, have been vaguely re-established with glazes of restoration. A split in the panel has created a narrow irregular gap running through St. James' pink garment. The back of the panel appears to retain much of its original gesso preparation but is covered with modern matte black paint. Although the black framework is not original, the gilded reliefwork is.
"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

Along with its companion piece, formerly in the Rau collection, which depicts Saints John the Baptist and Anthony Abbot, this well-preserved panel by Battista di Biagio Sanguigni originally formed part of an altarpiece flanking a Madonna and Child in the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio (fig. 1).1 The design of the tiled pattern of the floor runs in from the wings to meet in the central panel in Cleveland, providing a harmonious and continuous flow towards the tender embrace between Mother and Child who sit gracefully on a marbled throne. That these three panels were conceived as a complete set is confirmed by the way they correspond to each other in size, style, marginal decoration and framing. The inscription along the frame of the Cleveland panel provides us with precise details of when and for whom the altarpiece was commissioned, while the date of 1419 previously lent the artist his name.2 In his will of 1414 Marchese Domenico Giugni left 50 gold florins to pay for the work which was to hang in the oratory of Santa Maria a Latera in the Mugello, outside Florence. Upon the demolition of the church in 1516 the triptych was transferred to the church of San Jacopo alla Cavallina, and it is recorded as still being intact in 1748 (see Brocchi, under Literature).

Sanguigni's catalogue was finally assembled in an ordered way by Boskovits in 2002 (see Literature), who assigned around twelve works to him, ranging in date from 1410 to 1430. While the artist's role in the transition from Lorenzo Monaco's Gothicism to Fra Angelico's classicizing style had always been recognised, his recent identification as Battista di Biagio Sanguigni has made the connection all the more explicit since close connections between him and Fra Angelico are documented as early as 1417 (see Kanter, under Literature, 2002). Indeed the influence of the Santa Maria a Latera altarpiece as well as another altarpiece by Biagio in the Museo Civico di San Gimignano are considered crucial in the design of the young Fra Angelico's groundbreaking San Domenico in Fiesole altarpiece. It seems that the two artists also shared patrons for in circa 1415-17 the Giugni family also commissioned from the young Fra Angelico the Madonna di Cedri today in the Museo di San Matteo in Pisa.

1. The ex-Rau panel was sold London, Christie's, 6 July 2010, lot 33, for £350,000. It appears to have been cut along the upper edge where an image of the Virgin Annunciate would have once been.