Lot 107
  • 107

ANTONIO DI PIETRO | The Crucifixion with the Madonna, Saint John, Mary Magdelene and a donor; the Annunciation in the spandrels above

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
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  • Antonio di Pietro
  • The Crucifixion with the Madonna, Saint John, Mary Magdelene and a donor; the Annunciation in the spandrels above
  • tempera on panel, gold ground, the reverse painted in imitation porphyry
  • 76.5 x 52.5 cm.; 30 3/4  x 21 in.


With E. & A. Silberman Galleries, New York, 1964.


Atlanta, Georgia, High Museum of Art, An Exhibition of Old Masters, 1941;
New Orleans, Louisiana, Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, Five Centuries of European Art, 1950;
Bologna, Mostra della Pittura Bolognese del Trecento, 1950, no. 123;
New York, E. & A. Silberman Galleries, An Exhibition of Old Masters from the Collections of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, Maryland, and the E and A Silberman Galleries, for the Benefit of the Rudolph Steiner School, Inc., 6 – 27 May 1964, no. 2 (all the above as Jacopo Avanzi da Bologna).


Mostra della Pittura Bolognese del Trecento, exh. cat., Bologna 1950, cat. no. 123 (as Jacopo Avanzi da Bologna);
D. Benati, Jacopo Avanzi nel rinnovamento della pittura padana del secondo ‘300, Bologna 1992, p. 116, reproduced fig. 121, and p. 128, footnote 102 (as a late fourteenth century Venetian artist close to Martino da Verona);
A. De Marchi, 'De lapidibus sententiae', in Scritti in Onore di Giovanni Lorenzoni, Padua 2002, pp. 105–06, reproduced p. 473, fig. 1 and pp. 476–77, fig. 6 (as Antonio di Pietro da Verona).


The following condition report is provided by Sarah Walden who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's: Antonio di Pietro. The Crucifixion with the Annunciation in the Spandrels. This painting is apparently on a single poplar panel. It has suffered a certain amount of worm damage in the past and has lost a narrow strip from the upper right corner. The deep brown priming on the back may be fairly early, and has a finely flecked painted surface as well as various little worm holes. Later cruder patches of brown overpaint have been added at both sides. Faint cracks can be seen near the top of the centre, and a single trailing crack runs up the edge of the Madonna's back from the lower left base. However the panel has remained generally secure, with a faint stable curve. There has been one recent knock in the background gilding, near the head of Christ. There has been some restoration in the gold leaf of the Annunciation panels, with a little retouching in the head of the angel, and in the pelican above the crucifixion, with some wear in the great initials at the top of the cross. The figure of Christ is finely intact however, as are the dramatic features of the saints below. The portrait of the donor appears slightly thin with a few little retouchings, and Mary's outline has been reinforced up the back of her drapery along the old crack. The unusual colour of her drapery may perhaps stem from some discolouration of a vegetable pigment. The locks of hair Mary Magdalen is holding out before her have also been slightly retouched. However the decisive brushwork and fine tempera detail is very well preserved largely throughout. This report was not done under laboratory conditions.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Antonio di Pietro was a rare Gothic artist from Verona active predominantly in Padua. His paintings are often generically attributed to the circle of his uncle, the celebrated Altichiero, Verona's leading painter of the fourteenth century, but also to Jacopo Avanzi, with whom the present work was in the past associated.  Professor Andrea De Marchi (see Literature) dates this intriguing panel to around 1410 and proposes convincingly that it is the central section of a dismembered polyptych, the original measurement of which would have been a little more than 80 x 110 cm. The six lateral panels, of approximately 27 x 27 cm., were stacked vertically in two groups of three, and depict episodes from the Passion. These were sold as three pairs in London, Christie's, 23 June 1967, lots 102–04, as North Italian School, circa 1350. The panel which depicts the Noli Me Tangere is now in the Museo Civico Amedeo Lia in La Spezia as by the circle of Altichiero, and another is in a private collection in Verona.1

We are grateful to Professor Andrea De Marchi for re-endorsing the attribution on the basis of digital images.

1 See F. Zeri and A.G. De Marchi, La Spezia, Museo civico Amedeo Lia, Dipinti, Milan 1997, pp. 28–31, cat. no. 4, reproduced. The other five panels are also reproduced.