is a characteristic work by Tommaso di Credi, also known as the Master of the Santo Spirito Sacra Conversazione, after an altarpiece in the church of Santo Spirito in Florence, depicting the Madonna and Child enthroned.1
Tommaso, who specialised in scenes such as the present one destined for a domestic setting, was a close follower of Lorenzo di Credi and in all likelihood trained in his workshop. Lorenzo’s influence is visible throughout the composition, from the expansive landscape and arrangement of figures, to the pose of the Madonna and the physiognomy of the child. The numerous pentiments, however, particularly in the Virgin's hands, attest to the independent spirit of the artist. A similar design, with the landscape receding either wide of the central vertical axis formed by the Madonna and Child with the tree behind them, can be found in another tondo
sold New York, Christie's, 29 January 2014, lot 133, for $581,000.
Prince Demidoff was a great collector of Russian origin who became Florentine by adoption, his grandfather Nicholas having been posted as Russian ambassador to Tuscany in 1819. The celebrated and varied family collection is now divided between the most important museums in the world, among them the Wallace Collection, London, and the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg.
1. G. Dalli Regoli, Lorenzo di Credi, Pisa 1966, p. 190, cat. no. 225, reproduced fig. 259.