JUDITH AND HOLOFERNES, CUTTING FROM A CHOIRBOOK, IN LATIN [ITALY (SIENA), C.1340-50]
5,000 - 7,000 GBP
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- bodycolour on vellum
cutting, c.95x75mm, vellum, initial 'A' opening 'Adonai domine deus magne ...', the antiphon for the summer histories of Judith, reverse with remains of text and music on four-line red staves, rastrum c.33-34mm, slight rubbing, framed
From a private collection, France. The finely detailed and highly decorative style of the initial can be attributed to NICCOLÒ DI SER SOZZO (see The Robert Lehman Collection, IV, 1997, pp.122-6; and La miniatura senese, 2002, pp.303-14). He is generally recognised as the preeminent illuminator in Siena in the middle of the 14th century. The reconstruction of his work is based on a signed miniature of the Assumption (Siena, Archivio di Stato, MS. Capitoli 2) and a polyptych in the Pinacoteca Nazionale of Siena, jointly signed by him and Lucca di Tommè. Only in 1363 does Niccolò’s name appear in the register of the painters’ guild, but that same year, on 15 June, his burial is recorded in the Necrologio of San Domenico. His style is recognisable in the present miniature by the fluid forms and subtle, harmonious chromatic effects.