102
102

PROPERTY FROM AN ITALIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

The Master of the Turin Adoration
(active Genoa? 1490 - 1510)
THE EMPEROR HERACLIUS, BEARING THE TRUE CROSS AND ENTERING THE GATES OF JERUSALEM
Estimate
15,00020,000
JUMP TO LOT
102

PROPERTY FROM AN ITALIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

The Master of the Turin Adoration
(active Genoa? 1490 - 1510)
THE EMPEROR HERACLIUS, BEARING THE TRUE CROSS AND ENTERING THE GATES OF JERUSALEM
Estimate
15,00020,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Day Sale

|
London

The Master of the Turin Adoration
(active Genoa? 1490 - 1510)
THE EMPEROR HERACLIUS, BEARING THE TRUE CROSS AND ENTERING THE GATES OF JERUSALEM

Provenance

Probably commissioned by Janus von Eberstädt, of Saxony;
Anonymous sale, Rome, Christie’s, 1 December 1998, lot 182 (as Attributed to the Master of the Stories of Saint John the Evangelist);
Where acquired by the present owner.

Catalogue Note

The Master of the Turin Adoration was first named by Max Friedländer in 1927, after an altarpiece of The Adoration of the Magi in the Galleria Sabauda, Turin.1 He suggested this altarpiece to be part of a polyptych that also included two panels of the same height, depicting The Legends of Saints Agnes and Catherine, in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg (subsequently destroyed in a fire in 1947), as well as another two panels of the same subject matter in the Palazzo Reale, Genoa.2

The subject matter is taken from the story of the Discovery of the True Cross, a medieval legend that existed in a number of different sources, tracing the history of Christ's Cross from the Garden of Eden down to the time of the Emperor Heraclius (circa 575–641). The story begins with Heraclius returning from his successful campaign of 627 against the Sassanid Emperor Kosrow II, who had invaded the Empire in 613–14, capturing Jerusalem and seizing a fragment of the True Cross amongst other Christian relics kept there. The legend held that, as Heraclius returned in victorious procession to Jerusalem with the fragment of the True Cross, an angel appeared over the city walls, forbidding him entry through the gate, which turned into solid stone, reminding him of the contrasting humility of Christ's entry into the city. The present scene depicts the humbled Emperor, who has dismounted and is carrying the relic (here depicted as the entire Cross), about to walk through the newly-opened gate.

Distinctive here is the figure in the right foreground and the coat-of-arms at his feet, which appears to be that of Janus von Eberstadt, of Saxony. He presumably commissioned this piece, as well as an accompanying panel with the same coat-of-arms showing the antecedent scene of the vainglorious Emperor being denied entry into the city, which sold at Christie's, London, 7 December 2007, lot 172.

1 Inv. no. 309; see M.J. Friedländer, Early Netherlandish Painting, vol. VIb, Leiden 1971, p. 111, cat. no. Supp. 250, reproduced pl. 249.
2 Inv. nos 75a and b; see Friedländer 1971, p. 117, cat. no. Add. 296, reproduced pl. 268.

Old Masters Day Sale

|
London