Lot 3
  • 3

GIANNICOLA DI PAOLO | The Entombment of Christ, with the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, Saint John the Evangelist, and other saints

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
312,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Paolo
  • The Entombment of Christ, with the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, Saint John the Evangelist, and other saints
  • oil on panel, in an elaborately carved and gilded frame


The Conti Robilant, Venice, by 1933; By descent at Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice, to Conte Andrea Robilant;

By whom sold, London, Christie’s, 29 June 1962, lot 68, for 1,900 guineas to Chance (as Perugino);

Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Lady'), London, Christie's, 10 July 1987, lot 103 (as Giovan Battista Caporali).


C. Castellaneta and E. Camesasca, L’opera completa del Perugino, Milan 1969, p. 123, cat. no. 282, reproduced (as attributed to Perugino); F. Todini, La Pittura Umbra: dal duecento al primo cinquecento, Milan 1989, vol. I, p. 79 (as Giannicola di Paolo).

Catalogue Note

Long considered to be by the great Perugino, this panel is in fact a mature work, datable to circa 1520, by Giannicola di Paolo, one of the foremost painters in Perugia in the early Cinquecento. The artist was employed in Perugino's workshop and is known to have collaborated on numerous works, including the Last Supper in the church of Sant’Onofrio, Florence. Later, as an independent painter, he set up a workshop in Piazza del Sopramura, in the same square as his former master, and his style remained heavily influenced by the latter throughout his career.1  Evidence of pouncing in the execution of some paintings, such as the Annunciation attributed to Giannicola in the National Gallery, London (inv. no. NG1104), suggest that Perugino’s cartoons were freely accessible to him.2  However, rather than directly copying Perugino’s paintings, the artist likely made his own drawings from his master’s modelli while working in his studio. For example, the design of Giannicola’s impressive Ognissanti altarpiece of 1506, now in the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, Perugia (inv. no. 323), derives from Perugino’s San Pietro Ascension composition, though the figures are different, suggesting they are of his own invention.  

We are grateful to Professor Filippo Todini for re-endorsing the attribution on the basis of digital images.

1 C. Higgitt, M. Spring, A. Reeve and L. Syson, 'Working with Perugino: The Technique of an Annunciation attributed to Giannicola di Paolo,' in National Gallery Technical Bulletin, Renaissance Siena and Perugia 1490–1510, vol. 27, 2006, p. 99.
2 Higgitt, Spring, Reeve and Syson 2006, p. 99.