View 1 of Lot 4. SILVESTRO DEI GHERARDUCCI | SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST.
View 1 of Lot 4. SILVESTRO DEI GHERARDUCCI | SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST.
4

SILVESTRO DEI GHERARDUCCI | SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST

Estimate:

50,000 - 70,000 USD

SOLD WITHOUT RESERVE

SILVESTRO DEI GHERARDUCCI | SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST

SILVESTRO DEI GHERARDUCCI | SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST

Estimate:

50,000 - 70,000 USD

Lot sold:

450,000

USD

SILVESTRO DEI GHERARDUCCI

Florence 1339 - 1399

SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST


tempera on panel, gold ground, shaped top

21⅝ by 14 in.; 55 by 35.7 cm.


Renowned Art Dealer Fabrizio Moretti and The Strokes' Fab Moretti Collaborate

Private collection, France.

This elegant depiction of Saint John is a recent addition to the oeuvre of Silvestro dei Gherarducci, one of the most influential artists in the second half of the 14th century in Florence. His artistic identity was unknown until 1957 when Mirella Levi d'Ancona recognized that the group of works formerly attributed to the Master of the Cionesque Humility were actually by Gherarducci.


Gherarducci was a monk at the Santa Maria degli Angeli, Florence, where he became its Prior in 1398 and led the scriptorium, the workshop devoted to the illumination of manuscripts. He was the eldest of a triumvirate of painters that included Simone Camaldolese and Lorenzo Monaco. All three lived and worked in the monastery, and they constituted the most important late medieval school of painters in Florence. In addition to his importance as an illuminator, Gherarducci achieved renown for his highly refined paintings on panel, as seen here.


Saint John the Evangelist gazes left, suggesting that this panel might have once been the right-side wing of a larger altarpiece. The punched decorations on the halo include a flower squared by four circles, an element repeated in Gherarducci's Madonna of the Humility from 1366-75 in the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence.1 The physiognomy of the Saint's face is also consistent with that of the Madonna in the Accademia, as they both tilt their heads ever so slightly left, their almond-shaped eyes firmly gazing at the viewer. In light of the similarities between both works, this gold ground can also be dated to circa 1370.


The format and shape of this panel relate to a painting by Gherarducci of the Madonna and Child that Sotheby's sold in 2001.Both works show a figure against an empty gold ground, and while the Madonna holds the child, Saint John holds a book. Further similarities between both works can be appreciated in the elongated fingers of the proper right hand of each figure and the punched decoration of their halos.


We are grateful to Dr. Angelo Tartuferi for endorsing the attribution to Silvestro dei Gherarducci on the basis of photographs and for his assistance with the cataloguing of the present lot.


1. Tempera on panel, 164 by 89 cm., inv. no. 3612. See http://catalogo.fondazionezeri.unibo.it/entry/work/3967/

2. Tempera on panel, 76.8 by 47.6 cm. See anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 25 January 2001, lot 7, for $533,750.