Lot 3
  • 3

Ventura di Moro

120,000 - 180,000 USD
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  • Ventura di Moro
  • Madonna and Child with four saints
  • tempera on panel, gold ground, arched top


Vitetti collection, Rome, by 1961.


F. Zeri, "La mostra 'Arte in Valdelsa' a Certaldo," in Bollettino d’arte, 1963, 48, p. 256.


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 nicely intact devotional picture is in very good condition overall. Scattered trifling losses are for the most part recognizable by their now off-color restoration. Some strengthening is found in John the Baptist's arms and possibly the saint on the lower right. The flesh tones of the Madonna and the Christ Child appear to be slightly strengthened with restoration glazes, perhaps to address localized rubbing in these areas. Although the original incisions applied to delineate the folds of in the skirt of Mary's blue mantle are still visible in raking light, the cloudiness of the varnish, combined with normal aging phenomena make this passage appear evenly dark. There may be some general toning in this passage, however the strong fluoresce of the varnish makes it difficult to be certain. A normal degree of wear is visible in the gold background, with some moderate abrasion of the gilding in the bottom right halo. Although the mordant gilt details — such as the border along the Madonna's hem — are worn, they hold together visually. The well-preserved support is a single tangentially cut board, with a small addition for the uppermost peak, enhanced with an engaged frame. The panel displays a moderate but not disturbing lateral convex warp. Some large losses of ground and gilding in frame are found along the side edges. The aged natural resin varnish is quite dull and slightly cloudy. This painting looks pleasing as is, however it may be expected to improve with cleaning and a new restoration, which would highlight the extensive color range and allow the many details to be more fully appreciated.
"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

Ventura di Moro was active in Florence in the fifteenth century and specialized in small-scale portable tabernacles destined for private devotion. Formerly known as the Pseudo-Ambrogio di Baldese, he was identified as Ventura di Moro based on the signature on the edge of the blue cloak in his Madonna and Child of circa 1430 in the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Siena.1 Documentary evidence tells us much of Ventura’s life: in 1416 he was enrolled in the Accademia di San Luca, the painter’s guild, and by 1427 he was running a busy workshop with the help of two other artists who are otherwise unknown, Giuliano di Jacopo and Marco di Filippo. None of Ventura’s recorded works is extant other than two ruined detached frescoes depicting the Story of Saint Peter Martyr painted in 1446 with Rossello Jacopo Franchi for the façade of the Bigallo Oratory in Florence.


1. See P. Torriti, La Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena, Genoa 1990, pp. 294-95, cat. no 389, reproduced in color fig. 368.