PROPERTY SOLD TO BENEFIT THE ACQUISITION FUND OF THE SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART
It was presumably around 1450, the year in which Saint Bernardino was canonized, that Sano di Pietro was commissioned to paint numerous images of this patron saint of Siena. This historical event sparked the popularity within Sano's workshop of small devotional panels depicting the Madonna and Child that were sometimes flanked by Saint Bernardino and other times flanked simply by angels, as is the case in the present composition. In this painting, the motifs of the angels' heads placed directly above the Madonna and Child to framing the figures below are typical of the artist's workshop, as are the garlands of flowers atop the angels' heads. These garlands, along with the Madonna and Child, are rendered with such care and delicacy that it is no surprise why such compositions were highly sought after during and after the Sano di Pietro's lifetime.
We are grateful to Professor Laurence Kanter for his assistance in cataloguing this lot and for suggesting a possible attribution to Francesco di Giorgio.
1. Inv. no. 1975.1.39, tempera on panel, 54.9 by 35.9 cm. See K. Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born before 1865: A Summary Catalogue, New York 1995, p. 59.
2. Inv. no. 1958.284, tempera on panel, 46.5 by 28.6 cm. See Loan Exhibition of the Arts of the Italian Renaissance, exhibition catalogue, New York 1923, p. 7, cat. no. 20, reproduced.
3. Inv. no. 61.025.000, tempera on panel, 73.4 by 46.4 cm. See F.R. Shapley, Complete Catalogue of the Samuel H. Kress Collection, Italian Paintings, XIII-XV Century, London 1966, p. 153, reproduced fig. 414.
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