Cinelli collection, Palazzo Antellesi, Florence, by 1963;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 8 December 1972, lot 74 (as Luca Spinello);
Acquired at the above by the father of the present owner;
Thence by inheritance.
B. Berenson, Italian Schools of the Renaissance. Florentine School, London 1963, p. 163 (as Orcagna);
A.R. Calderoni Massetti, ‘Spinello Aretino Giovane’, in Raccolta pisana di saggi e studi, XXXV, Florence 1973, p. 12, reproduced fig. 14;
M. Boskovits, Pittura fiorentina alla vigilia del rinascimento 1370–1400, Florence 1975, p. 436, reproduced fig. 520;
G. Freuler, in Master Paintings 1400–1850, Colnaghi exhibition catalogue, London 1991–92, pp. 10–11, reproduced fig. 1;
Arte Sacra Antica, Agnew’s exhibition catalogue, London 1994;
A. González-Palacios, in Sumptuosa tabula picta: pittori a Lucca tra gotico e Rinascimento, exhibition catalogue, Lucca 1998, p. 18;
C. Terzaghi, ‘Sei tavole toscane del Quattrocento’, in Ma l’arte è un viaggio, exhibition catalogue, Milan 2001, p. 86;
S. Weppelmann, Spinello Aretino und die toscanische Malerie des 14 Jahrhunderts, Florence 2003, pp. 262, 264–65, cat. no. 63b, reproduced;
S. Weppelmann, in Lorenzo Monaco: a bridge from Giotto’s heritage to the Renaissance, exhibition catalogue, Florence 2006, pp. 142–43, under cat. no. 14, fig. 2;
S. Weppelmann, in A history of taste: collecting French and Italian old master painting for America, exhibition catalogue, Robilant + Voena, New York 2010, p. 22, reproduced fig. 2;
S. Weppelmann, Spinello Aretino e la pittura del Trecento in Toscana, Florence 2011, pp. 273–75, cat. no. 63b, reproduced.
Spinello was born in Arezzo and soon dominated the artistic scene of his native town. By the end of the Trecento he was amongst the most important artists active in Tuscany, receiving major commissions in Florence, Siena and Pisa. His work shows the lasting influence of the Orcagna brothers, evidenced here by the size of the figures in relation to their surroundings, but to this style he added an emotional lyricism in the narrative elements that stood out amongst his peers. In the present work that is particularly discernible in the conversation and gesticulation of the kings at left, in the fatherly concern of Joseph to the right, and in the tender kiss of the Saviour's feet by the kneeling king. The landscape also participates in the emotional setting as the disposition of the figures, which creates a neat V-shape, is echoed in the dip in the mountain range in the distance. The aforementioned companion Lamentation displays similar emotional details in the gestures of the figures.
1. Weppelmann 2011, p. 273.
2. Weppelmann 2011, pp. 270–71, cat. no. 61, reproduced.
3. Weppelmann 2011, pp. 273–75, cat. nos 63 (a) and (c), reproduced.
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