Lot 105
  • 105

Agnolo degli Erri, Bartolomeo degli Erri

300,000 - 400,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Agnolo degli Erri
  • Madonna and Child with two angels
  • tempera on panel, gold ground
  • 17 1/2  by 12 1/8  in.; 44.4 by 30.7 cm.


Anonymous sale, Stuttgart, Nagel Auktionen, 17 March 2005, lot 440 (as attributed to Marco Zoppo).

Catalogue Note

Agnolo and Bartolomeo degli Erri hailed from a family of painters and ran a successful workshop in Modena with their brother, Serafino, receiving commissions from the Este family, completing decorations for the ducal villas in Sassuolo, Modena and San Martino in Rio and creating miniatures for the Ospedale della Buona Morte.1  Their work is characterized by strong narratives and a compelling sense of realism, combining elements of Ferrarese, Padovan and Tuscan painting.  Both Andrea De Marchi and Daniele Benati observe the difficulties of distinguishing the hands of the brothers as the two collaborated on the majority of the workshop’s output and records often show commissions received by one with payment for it subsequently received by the other.2  While Benati believes this panel to be a collaboration, De Marchi maintains it is in fact the work of Agnolo alone, executed in the latter part of his career.  Agnolo was the elder of the two brothers and from a young age became the favored artist in Modena, a position previously held by his elder cousin, Benedetto.3

This panel shares certain similarities with the Madonna and Child in the Museé des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg, particularly in the figure of the Christ Child, yet in the present painting, the treatment of Madonna has taken on a more geometricized quality. While the Strasbourg Madonna has a softly rounded face, the features of the present Madonna are more sculpted and the eyebrows and lips more acutely incised.

We are grateful to Andrea De Marchi for suggesting an attribution of this lot to Agnolo degli Erri and to Daniele Benati for supporting the attribution while suggesting the collaboration of Bartolomeo degli Erri.


1.  A. De Marchi, “Erri”, in Treccani enciclopedia italiana: Dizionario biografico degli Italiani, Alberto M Ghisalberti ed., vol. 43, Rome 1993, available online
2.  “Agnolo degli Erri” and “Bartolomeo degli Erri”, in Dizionario enciclopedico dei pittori e degli incisori italiani dall’XI al XX secolo, vol. IV, p. 240
3.  A. De Marchi, op. cit..
4.  For the Strasbourg Madonna see D. Benati, La bottega degli Erri e la pittura del Rinascimento a Modena, Modena 1988, reproduced p. 128.