Lot 4
  • 4

Castilian School, late 15th Century

30,000 - 40,000 USD
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  • Standing saints holding books and croziers, probably Saint Benedict of Nursia and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux 
  • the latter inscribed in punchwork on the halo: AB(?)AS
  • a pair, both oil on panel


Abelardo Linares, Madrid;
From whom acquired by Charles Bayly, Jr. (1897-1954) in 1952;
By whom bequeathed to the Denver Art Museum in 1953 (acc. no. 1953.84 and acc. no. 1953.85).


Denver Art Museum Collection, European Art, Denver 1955, p. 33, cat. nos. 83 and 84 (as Spanish, unknown);
The Denver Art Museum, A Guide to the Collection, Denver 1965, p. 30, reproduced (only St. Bernard, as Spain 15th century);
The Denver Art Museum, Guide to the Collection, Denver 1971, p. 32, reproduced (only St. Bernard, as Spain 15th century).


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. The saint in white has not been restored in many years. Despite the fact that the panel is very lumpy, the heavy paint layer is stable throughout. The panel has a cradle applied to the reverse, which is stabilizing the wood. The painting is unevenly cleaned, and there are visible remnants of dirt throughout. There are some halfhearted attempts at restoration. There is a section of restoration in the chest of the figure. There are cracks around this rectangle, but it seems that there is original paint beneath the broad restoration here. The saint in black has also been cradled. There are numerous joined vertical cracks. There is quite a lumpy uneven surface, but the paint layer and panel are stable nonetheless. This picture, like the other in the pair, has a notable section of restoration in the chest of the figure. There is restoration around the perimeter of this rectangular section, and perhaps it was cut out and replaced. The work is very dirty. There are very healthy and respectable paint layers throughout both pictures, which will become considerably more apparent if the works are restored properly. The lumpy surface to both panels probably cannot be improved, but the works are very nicely preserved.
"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 two saints depicted are thought to be Benedict of Nursia (in black) and Bernard of Clairvaux (in white).  Saint Benedict was the founder of the Benedictine order, the oldest Western monastic order.  Saint Bernard was a Cistercian monk and theologian.  The Cistercian order was a reformed offshoot of the Benedictines whose goal was to adhere more closely to monastic life as originally dictated by Saint Benedict.