Lot 112
  • 112

Giannicola di Paolo

30,000 - 40,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Giannicola di Paolo
  • The Madonna and Child in a landscape
  • oil on panel, unframed


Bruno Canto, Milan;
In the present collection since at least 1963.


F. Todini, La pittura umbra dal Duecento al primo Cinquecento, Milan 1989, vol. I, p. 79, reproduced vol. II, p. 593, fig. 1375 (as a youthful work).

Catalogue Note

This graceful Madonna and Child is a youthful work by Giannicola di Paolo, one of the foremost painters in Perugia in the early Cinquecento.  The artist was employed in the workshop of Perugino, with whom he collaborated on numerous works, including the Last Supper in the church of Sant’Onofrio, Florence.  Later, as an independent painter, he set up a workshop in Piazza del Sopramura, the same square occupied by that of his former master, and his style remained heavily influenced by Perugino throughout his career.1  Evidence of pouncing in the execution of some paintings, such as the Annunciation attributed to Giannicola in the National Gallery, London (inv. no. NG1104), suggest that Perugino’s cartoons were freely accessible to him.  

Rather than directly copying Perugino’s paintings, the artist likely made his own drawings from his master’s modelli while working in his studio.  For example, the design of Giannicola’s impressive Ognissanti altarpiece of 1506, now in the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, Perugia (inv. no. 323), derives from Perugino’s San Pietro Ascension composition, though the figures are different, suggesting they are of his own invention.  Similarly, while the present Madonna is not a direct copy, the composition is evidently based on the central figures from the Madonna and Child attributed to Perugino in the Galleria Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples.Rather than show the figures full length, Giannicola ends the composition at the Madonna’s knees and excludes the figures in the background.  The Christ Child is heavily reliant on Perugino’s design, while the face of the Virgin is painted very much in Giannicola’s own idiom.  The features are sweeter and less linear and the flesh appears softer and rounder.


1. C. Higgitt, M. Spring, A. Reeve and L. Syson, ‘Working with Perugino: The Technique of an Annunciation attributed to Giannicola di Paolo,” in National Gallery Technical Bulletin, Renaissance Siena and Perugia 1490-151, vol. 27, 2006, p. 99.
2. Ibid.
3. C. Castellaneta and E. Camesasca, L’opera completa del Perugino, Milan 1969, p. 122, cat, no. 259, reproduced.