Lot 102
  • 102

ANDREA DI BARTOLO | Angel of the Annunciation

50,000 - 70,000 USD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Angel of the Annunciation
  • tempera on panel, gold ground
  • 14 1/4 by 9 in.; 36 by 23.3 cm.


Purchased in Venice between 1838-77 by Edward Cheney (1803 - 1884), Badger Hall, Shropshire;
Thence by inheritance to his brother-in-law, Colonel Alfred Capel Cure (1826 - 1896);
Thence by inheritance to his nephew Francis Capel Cure, 1896;
His sale, London, Christie's, 6 May 1905, lot 15 (as Italian School), to Charles Butler;
Charles Butler (1821 - 1910), 3 Connaught Place, London;
His deceased sale, London, Christie's, 25 May 1911, lot 35 (as Florentine School), £14.14s to Dowdeswell;
Miss Belle da Costa Greene, New York, by 1932;
Her deceased sale ("Property of the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, from the Collection of Miss Belle da Costa Greene), London, Sotheby's, 14 May 1958, lot 64 (as Spinello Aretino, and as arched on top) £500 to Thos. Agnew & Sons, London; 
By whom sold to Sir Nicholas Sekers (1910 - 1972), 11 November 1958;
By whom sold to Thos. Agnew & Sons, London, 22 February 1971;
By whom sold to Sir Geoffrey Agnew (1908 - 1986), 17 March 1972;
Thence by descent to the present owner.




B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance..., Oxford 1932, p. 549 (as Spinello Aretino);
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance...Florentine School, Greenwich, CT 1963, vol. I, p. 205 (as Spinello Aretino);
F. Zeri, "Da Spinello a Andrea di Bartolo," in Diari di Lavoro, Bergamo 1971, pp. 31-32, reproduced figure 24 (as Andrea di Bartolo).


The following condition report has been provided by Karen Thomas of Thomas Art Conservation LLC., 336 West 37th Street, Suite 830, New York, NY 10018, 212-564-4024, info@thomasartconservation.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This painting is in sound condition with a nicely intact paint surface overall. Retouching is limited to minor small losses, the majority of which are located in the bottom quarter of the image, and a more moderately-sized loss in the bottom left corner; these are clearly visible under UV illumination. Some subtle restoration toning is found in the pink garment and in the shaded side of the angel's hand to smooth the modeling, presumably related to some degree of normal, age-related fading in the red lake pigment. Gold paint has been applied to the cracks in the gold ground flanking the angel in order to knit together the flat areas not embellished with punchwork. The top corners outside the pastiglia border have been filled to complete the rectangular format. The varnish is clear and even. This painting may be displayed in its current state.
"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

This panel, long believed to be the work of Spinello Aretino, was correctly given to Andrea di Bartolo by Federico Zeri in 1968. The angel Gabriel once made up the left side of a diptych; its companion is the Madonna Annunciate in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow (fig. 1). Zeri observed that while both panels are fragments, their dimensions are almost identical, as are the compositions and the gold punchwork surrounding the heads of both figures. Additionally, the roundels above the main composition in Andrea's Madonna and Child with Saints at the Yale University Art Gallery show the angel and Mary posed exactly as they appear here.1 The son of Sienese painter Bartolo di Fredi (1330 -1410), Andrea trained with his father and also collaborated with him as well as with Luca di Tommè (1330 – 1389). He ran his own successful workshop and traveled across the Italian peninsula for commissions, adapting his style slightly to regional tastes. The present work may have been commissioned, along with its companion, by one of Andrea’s many religious or monastic patrons.

1. Yale University Art Gallery, inv. no. 1943.248