Lot 109
  • 109

BICCI DI LORENZO | Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Peter

60,000 - 80,000 USD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist and Peter
  • tempera and gold ground on panel, with a shaped top, in a carved and gilt tabernacle frame with paired Solomonic columns
  • overall: 38 3/8  by 18 1/2  in.; 97.5 by 47 cm.painted surface: 30 5/8  by 15 3/4  in.; 77.8 by 40 cm.


With Alessandra di Castro Antichità, Rome;
From whom acquired by the present owner in 2010.


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 picture is in sound condition overall and presents nicely. Of the figures, Saint Peter is the best preserved, particularly his yellow garment which remains fairly intact. The most recent campaign of retouching has been applied to knit together wear and visually suppress agerelated craquelure in the flesh passages of the Madonna and child, while older retouching exists in the faces of the saints and reconstructs much of John the Baptist's red garment. Although most of the retouching is imitative, neutral toning was used for some narrow losses along the right edge of John the Baptist's red garment and large losses in Mary's blue mantle. Three cracks have developed in the vertically grained wood support, one from the top right of center, and two from the bottom. A few small newer flake losses exist along each crack. Although the frame is in sound condition overall, a portion of one of the left capitals is lost. Any benefits gained by cleaning would have to be weighed against the degree of wear and loss that would be revealed. An approach focusing on correcting any off-color retouching and integrating the toning into the composition may be preferable. The painting could certainly be hung in its current state although consolidation along the cracks to prevent losses is advisable.
"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

Born in Florence, Bicci di Lorenzo trained with his father, Lorenzo di Bicci, eventually taking over their thriving workshop which he, in turn, passed on to his son, Neri di Bicci. His earliest dated work, of 1414, is a triptych in the church of San Lorenzo a Porciano in Stia, outside Florence. Despite all the artistic innovations taking place in Florence in the early 15th century, Bicci di Lorenzo did not adopt any of the newer stylistic trends, instead adhering closely to the traditional Gothic treatment of his subjects for the duration of his career. This panel depicting the Madonna and Child flanked by Saint John the Baptist and Saint Peter is datable to the 1420s or 1430s. It can be compared to another work by the artist, formerly in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and sold in these Rooms, depicting the Madonna and Child with Saint Matthew and Saint Francis.1 That picture, which is dated to the 1430s, shows a very similar placement of the figures and use of intricately designed fabric as a decorative element. The roses in the upper background of the present work are a slightly later addition, no doubt reflecting the taste of a particular owner.

1.  New York, Sotheby’s, 31 January 2013, lot 5.