Lot 12
  • 12

Jacopo di Cione

120,000 - 180,000 GBP
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  • Jacopo di Cione
  • The Madonna and Child enthroned with music-making angels and Virtues
  • tempera on panel, gold ground, arched top


Rudolf Bedö (1891–1978), Budapest;
Sale, London, Phillips, 22 November 1955, lot 77, for £230, to Roland (as by Sano di Pietro);
With Wengraf, London;
With Bellini, Florence 1957 (both the above according to notes in the Fondazione Zeri archive);
Thomas Sheridan Hyland, Greenwich, Connecticut, by 1958;
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Private Collector'), New York, Sotheby's, 17 January 1985, lot 46 (as by Jacopo di Cione);
With P. and D. Colnaghi, London.


Hartford, Conn., Wadsworth Atheneum, An Exhibition of Italian Panels and Manuscripts from the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries in honour of Richard Offner, 9 April – 6 June 1965, no. 5 (as by Niccolò di Tommaso);
London, Colnaghi, Gothic to Renaissance, 1988, no. 3 (as Jacopo di Cione).


S. Wagstaff, An Exhibition of Italian Panels and Manuscripts from the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries in honour of Richard Offner, exhibition catalogue, Hartford (Conn.) 1965, pp. 13–14, no. 5, reproduced (as Niccolò di Tommaso);
M. Boskovits, Pittura fiorentina all vigilia del Rinascimento, Florence 1975, p. 325 (as Jacopo di Cione circa 1360–65);
R. Offner, ed. H.B.J. Maginnis, A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. A Legacy of attributions. The Fourteenth Century (Supplement), Florence 1981, p. 89 (as Niccolò di Tommaso).


The following condition report is provided by Hamish Dewar who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's: Structural Condition The panel has clearly had several structural interventions in the past and there is evidence of a number of batons having been removed from the reverse. At present there are two horizontal batons and several butterfly inserts on the reverse as well as a thick layer of wax resin. There are some areas which are slightly blistering on the paint surface as well as partially open cracks running parallel to the lower horizontal edge, and two further partially open repaired joins or splits, parallel to the left and right vertical edges. There are a number of other repaired splits and panel joins. Paint surface The paint surface has an uneven and discoloured varnish layer and a number of retouchings are visible under ultraviolet light. Many of these cover what would appear to be old flake losses and retouchings along the various splits and joins in the panel. The largest area of retouching would appear to be a retouching measuring approximately 5 cm in width which runs down almost the full length of the Madonna's blue draperies. There are also a number of retouchings on the faces of the Virgin and St. John and evidence of other retouchings. There may also be retouchings beneath old, discoloured varnish layers which are not identifiable under ultraviolet light. Summary The painting would therefore appear to be in rather fragile condition with structural condition issues that should be addressed.
"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

The Madonna and Child are here shown together with the three Theological Virtues: Faith with a cross and chalice, Hope, with hands joined in prayer, and Charity, shown with a flaming heart and cornucopia. They are shown together with the four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, with a sphere and a wand, Justice with the traditional symbols of scales and a sword, Temperance with two vases, and Fortitude, who holds a bow and a column. They are joined by the additional figure of Humility, who holds a lighted candle. Though not accorded a formal position among the Virtues, Humility was usually linked to Temperance in terms of importance to spiritual growth.

Jacopo di Cione was the younger brother of Andrea (Orcagna) and Nardo di Cione, and was admitted to the Arte dei Medici e Speziali in Florence in January of 1369, although he had probably been active for some years before that date. Following the deaths of his brothers in 1366 and 1368, he took over the running of the family workshop, which he continued until his own death thirty years later. In 1368, for example, he took over Orcagna's Saint Matthew altarpiece for Orsanmichele (Florence, Uffizi), which had been left unstarted. The magnificent polyptych commissioned for the Albizzi family for the high altar of San Pier Maggiore, documented to 1370–71 (principal panels now London, National Gallery)1, together with a Coronation of the Virgin of 1373, commissioned by the Mint in Florence and now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia2 there, together form the basis for the reconstruction of his œuvre. Both are thought to have been completed in collaboration with Niccolò di Pietro Gerini (c. 1340–1414), whose contribution to Jacopo's most prestigious commissions seems to have been important.

The size and importance of the Cione workshop in Florence has resulted in considerable scholarly debate as to the precise characters and relationships of the painters who both worked in the workshop and those who were influenced by it. This panel was first published as the work of Jacopo di Cione by Miklos Boskovits, who dated it to between 1365 and 1370. He included the present painting among a number of works which had hitherto been ascribed by Zeri and others to the unidentified Cionesque hands known as the Master of the Infancy and the Master of the Prato Annunciation, and which together he saw as representative of a youthful phase of Jacopo's production. The parallels between the Accademia Coronation of the Virgin of 1373 however, such as between the kneeling figures on the left of both panels, might suggest a slightly later dating to around 1370–75. The softer contours and colours probably reflect the influence of Jacopo's bother Nardo di Cione, which had earlier led Offner to propose an attribution to Niccolò di Tommaso (fl. 1346–1376), who worked alongside him.

We are grateful to Dott.ssa Sonia Chiodo for endorsing the attribution to Jacopo di Cione on the basis of photographs, and for suggesting a possible date of execution to between 1370 and 1375. Dr. Larry Kanter has also kindly suggested a possible attribution to the Master of the Ashmolean Predella (fl. 1360–90), who worked together with Jacopo in the late 1360s and early 1370s. He also suggests a date of execution around 1370.

1. NG 569.1–3 and NG 570–578. D. Gordon, National Gallery Catalogues. The Italian Paintings before 1400, London 2011, pp. 52–91.

2. B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Florentine School, London 1963, vol. I, p. 103, reproduced plates 229, 231–32.