Lot 101
  • 101

Agnolo di Domenico del Mazziere, formerly known as the Master of Santo Spirito

30,000 - 50,000 USD
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  • Agnolo di Domenico del Mazziere, formerly known as the Master of Santo Spirito
  • Portrait of a boy, half length, in a landscape, dressed in black robes and cap
  • oil on panel


Hofrat Streber, Tölz;
From whom purchased by the grandparents of the present collector in 1930;
By descent to the present collector in 1977.


E. Fahy, Some Followers of Domenico Ghirlandaio, Harvard University Ph.D. thesis, New York and London 1976, p. 194 (as the Master of Santo Spirito).


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This work has not been recently restored. The panel has been cradled. The paint layer is slightly uneven along the right side, in the hair of the figure on the right side, in a spot or two across the bottom edge, and on the upper left. Some consolidation, and possibly even a re-examination of the cradle, is required. The surface is not completely flat. The painting was originally quite thinly painted, but it has become thinner over time. Retouches have been added to address this thinness. Some of these are visible under ultraviolet light in the cheeks of the child and in the lower right of the gown. There were probably numerous campaigns of retouching, and it is more than likely that if the picture is properly cleaned, earlier restorations that do not show under ultraviolet light at present will be revealed. However, this does seem to be a picture that would be worth properly restoring.
"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

This wistful portrait was first published by Everett Fahy in 1974 (see Literature) as the Master of Santo Spirito, a name given to the author of a group of paintings, including three altarpieces in the church of Santo Spirito, Florence.   Contemporary documents uncovered by Anna Padoa Rizzo and published in 1988 has since enabled the corpus to be associated with the Florentine workshop of two brothers, Agnolo and Donnino del Mazziere.1  

Agnolo appears to have been the better known of the two brothers and was mentioned by Vasari as having trained in the workshop of Cosimo Rosselli, though it seems likely Donnino also received his training there.  Agnolo was among the artists summoned by Michelangelo to Rome in 1507-1508 to confer over plans for the decoration of the Sistine chapel, which is testament to both his skill and renown among his contemporaries.  Vasari himself, in fact, owned a number of Agnolo's drawings, some of which he included in his Libro de' Disegni.  Distinguishing between the hands of the brothers has proved difficult since the two collaborated on many of their documented commissions.  

1. A. Padoa Rizzo, "Agnolo di Donnino: Nuovi documenti, le fonti e le possibile identificazione con il 'Maestro di Santo Spirito'," in Rassenga d'Arte, IV, 1988 pp. 125-168;