Lot 104
  • 104

MASTER OF THE CHRIST CHURCH CORONATION The Madonna and Child enthroned between Saints John the Baptist and Clement, with two Angels, in the pinnacle above the figure of Christ

Estimate
50,000 - 70,000 GBP
Sold
100,000 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Master of the Christ Church Coronation
  • The Madonna and Child enthroned between Saints John the Baptist and Clement, with two Angels, in the pinnacle above the figure of Christ
  • tempera on panel, gold ground, arched top
  • main panel, painted surface: 127 x 72 cm.; 50 x 28 1/4  in.
    overall (with frame): 173.5 x 81.5 cm.; 68 1/4  x 32 1/8  in.

Provenance

Probably commisioned from the artist by one of the Capitani of the Church of Orsanmichele in Florence (see note below);
Purchased in 1872 or 1873 in Edinburgh by James Reddie Anderson (b. 1854) of Keswick, Cumberland;
Upon whose death sold by order of his daughter, London, Sotheby's, 4 April 1948, lot 123, where offered as 'Florentine School, about 1360', as a triptych, the two dispersed wings depicting Saints Catherine and Lucy, and Saints Lawrence and James the Greater;
Private collection, Italy;
Acquired by the father of the present owner;
Thence by descent.

Literature

M. Boskovits, Pittura Fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento 1370–1400, Florence 1975, p. 212, reproduced fig. 156;
C. Scalella, 'Contributi alla pittura fiorentina del secondo Trecento: il "Maestro dell'Incoronazione della Christ Church Gallery"', in Arte cristiana, 2001, 89, p. 121, reproduced p. 128, pl. 15b.

Catalogue Note

The Master takes his name from a Coronation of the Virgin in the Christ Church Picture Gallery, Oxford.1 A catalogue of his œuvre was first proposed by Offner, subsequently enlarged by Federico Zeri and further expanded by Boskovits.2 A triptych inscribed on the frame by the artist and dated 1373 was formerly at the Musée de la Bénédictine in Fécamp. It was the only known dated work but removal of the old frame after the work was offered at auction in 1995 has meant this is no longer visible.3 Scalella proposes a similar date of execution for the present work (see Literature).

Boskovits lists the Master as a satellite of Andrea di Cione, known as Orcagna, and suggests that he may well have collaborated with him on occasions. Certainly the spatial arrangement looks back to the work of the Cione brothers, as does the interest in the different decoration which lines the curtain held up by the two angels, as well as the details of the lining of Saint Clement's red cloak. A similarly wide range of decoration can be found in another Coronation of the Virgin, in the Kress Collection, Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma.4

The initials OSM appear twice in the pinnacle of the frame. They refer to the church of Orsanmichele in Florence, suggesting that the work was commissioned for that church, probably by one of the Capitani. When sold in 1948 the panel was the central section of a triptych (see Provenance). The side panels, which Scalella records as already being dismembered by 1952, were sold Milan, Finarte, 27 October 1987, lot 78, and are now in a private collection, Italy.

1 See J. Byam Shaw, Paintings by Old Masters at Christ Church, Oxford, Oxford 1967, pp. 3334, cat. no. 7, reproduced pl. 9 (as Florentine School, circa 1360).
2 See Boskovits 1975 for a list of the works given to the artist by Zeri as well as his own attributions. Scalella offers the most up-to-date list of his works (Scalella 2001). A report by Roberto Longhi from 1952, filed in the archives of the Corpus of Florentine Painting, attributes the work to Puccio di Simone and dates it to the 1340s or 1350s.
3 See Scalella 2001, p. 117, reproduced p. 119, figs 2 and 3.
4 F. Rusk Shapley, Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, London 1966, pp. 3233, cat. no. 64, reproduced fig. 72, where listed as a follower of Orcagna, but subsequently attributed to the Master of the Christ Church Coronation by Boskovits.
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