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, firstname.lastname@example.org, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
Cut from a larger work, this panel appears to have been scraped down where the framework would have been attached, leaving the gilded and painted imagery intact except where the apex of the panel was trimmed away. With the exception of some minor points of wear, the paint layers are in excellent condition. Restoration is limited to a strip of retouching approximately 1cm high running across the bottom edge, a few small scattered losses and strengthening in the gilded decoration on the saint's chest. A scratch running across the proper left hand appears to be superficial, not affecting the paint layers. Wear in the gilding, especially in the punchwork, reveals the orange-red bole below. The thick natural resin varnish is discolored and an accumulation of dirt coats the surface. The horizontally grained wood support has a marked convex vertical warp. This picture would improve with cleaning and it is expected little retouching would be required.
"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."
Mauro Minardi recognized this previously unknown Apostle Saint
as the work of the Master of Teplice, who takes his name from a panel now in the Church of Santa Maria in the town of Duci, near Teplice in the Czech Republic.1
Miklòs Boskovits first coined the name, when adding to the artist’s oeuvre
three panels, Saints Anthony, Nicholas and Catherine
, offered at London, Christie’s in 2003.2
While very similar in form, the figures in the London panels are set further forward in the pictorial frame, and the shaped edge of the now absent framing element would have overlapped the halos which are outlined in red. Furthermore, the London panels were published as pinnacles, while the horizontal grain of the present panel suggests it was a predella
panel. On this basis, Minardi proposes the panel formed a part of a different altarpiece by the artist, including two further Apostle predella
panels in the Alana collection, New York, and a Christ
, another Apostle
and a Saint Peter
, formerly Moratilla collection, Paris.3
We are grateful to Mauro Minardi for suggesting the attribution following firsthand inspection.
1. Private written communication, dated 13 November 2014, on the basis of firsthand inspection; for the Teplice panel see O. Pujmanova, Arte rinascimentale italiana nelle collezioni ceche, Prague 1996, pp. 42-43.
2. Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 10 December 2003, lot 105.
3. The Alana panels will be published by Minardi in the forthcoming volume of the collection catalogue; the location of the Moratelli panels is now unknown, listed in the Fondazione Zeri Fototeca archive as Master of the Pesaro Crucifixion, entry nos. 5233-5235.