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THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Neri di Bicci
THE ADORATION OF THE CHRIST CHILD WITH THE YOUNG SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
JUMP TO LOT
16

THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Neri di Bicci
THE ADORATION OF THE CHRIST CHILD WITH THE YOUNG SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Evening Sale

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London

Neri di Bicci
FLORENCE 1419 - 1491
THE ADORATION OF THE CHRIST CHILD WITH THE YOUNG SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
tempera and gold on poplar panel
47.5 x 37.5 cm.; 18 3/4  x 14 3/4  in.

 

 
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Provenance

Van Gelder collection, Brussels;

In the collection of the father of the present owner by 1965;

Thence by inheritance.

Literature

R. Van Marle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, The Hague 1928, reprinted New York 1970, vol. X, p. 540, reproduced p. 539, fig. 322.

Catalogue Note

This is a characteristic painting by Neri di Bicci. While his figure types are instantly recognisable, the present work displays a sophistication in the disposition of the figures, particularly that of Joseph peering out from behind the architectural setting, as well as that of John the Baptist gazing into the the scene from the edge of the pictorial plane, which distinguishes it from the bulk of the artist's impressive catalogue.  

Neri was the third in line from a family of artists: his father Bicci di Lorenzo (1373–1452) and his grandfather Lorenzo di Bicci (1350–1427) had been successful painters before him. He was a member of the Compagnia di San Luca in Florence by 1434 and began his artistic career as an assistant in his father’s workshop, taking over its running after Bicci di Lorenzo became ill in 1446. It was after his father’s death in 1452 that Neri di Bicci became an independent artist in his own right and he began keeping a diary, both professional and personal, which covers his principal years of activity from 1453 to 1475. This account, called Le Ricordanze, has been described as 'the most extensive surviving original document to record the activity of a 15th-century painter'.1 His paintings successfully integrate the early Quattrocento models of his father’s paintings with those of the more naturalistic artists of his own generation, such as Fra Angelico, Domenico Veneziano, Filippo Lippi and Andrea del Castagno. Neri di Bicci and his workshop received a constant stream of commissions from the Florentine nobility and religious institutions, and a number of talented artists were employed by him over the years: Cosimo Rosselli, Giusto d’Andrea, Francesco Botticini and Bernardo di Stefano Rosselli are amongst those documented in the Ricordanze.

1. B. Santi, 'Neri di Bicci', in J. Turner (ed.), The Dictionary of Art, London 1996, vol. II, p. 801. The manuscript of Le Ricordanze consists of 189 sheets and is held at the Uffizi, Florence.

Old Masters Evening Sale

|
London