Prosper Guerry, New York, 1938; Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby Parke Bernet, 30 May 1979, lot 108; Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 21 May 1998, lot 332.
S. Bruzzese, "Legnano, San Magno," in G. Agosti et al., Bernardino Luini e i suoi figli p. 56.
These charming musical angels and putti are based on figures from Bernardino Luini's polyptych painted circa 1525 for the church of San Magno, Legnano, near Milan (for more on the San Magno altarpiece see G. Agosti et al., Bernardino Luini e suoi figli, Milan 2014, pp. 53-59, cat. no. 7, reproduced figs. 51-57).
In Luini’s prototype, the musical angels play at the feet of the enthroned Virgin and Child in the central panel while the putti hover above them.
Oil on canvas, lined. The work appears to have been transferred. The surface is covered by a thick, yellow, discolored varnish. There are areas of retouching scattered throughout the work that are visible to the naked eye. There are also losses visible at all edges. Under UV light, while the majority of the work is covered by a green fluorescing varnish there are retouches visible, mainly at the edges and through the upper center area of the work. The flute playing angels are, for the most part, free from visible retouching.
In a gold wood frame.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.