ANDREA DI NICCOLÒ | MADONNA AND CHILD SURROUNDED BY SAINTS ANTHONY ABBOT, FRANCIS, JEROME, AND MARY MAGDALENE, WITH CHRIST AS THE MAN OF SORROWS, SAINT CATHERINE, AND ANOTHER FEMALE SAINT (IRENE?) IN ROUNDELS BELOW
ANDREA DI NICCOLÒ | MADONNA AND CHILD SURROUNDED BY SAINTS ANTHONY ABBOT, FRANCIS, JEROME, AND MARY MAGDALENE, WITH CHRIST AS THE MAN OF SORROWS, SAINT CATHERINE, AND ANOTHER FEMALE SAINT (IRENE?) IN ROUNDELS BELOW
10

Property of a New England Private Collector

ANDREA DI NICCOLÒ | MADONNA AND CHILD SURROUNDED BY SAINTS ANTHONY ABBOT, FRANCIS, JEROME, AND MARY MAGDALENE, WITH CHRIST AS THE MAN OF SORROWS, SAINT CATHERINE, AND ANOTHER FEMALE SAINT (IRENE?) IN ROUNDELS BELOW

Estimate: 300,000 - 500,000 USD

91011

Property of a New England Private Collector

ANDREA DI NICCOLÒ | MADONNA AND CHILD SURROUNDED BY SAINTS ANTHONY ABBOT, FRANCIS, JEROME, AND MARY MAGDALENE, WITH CHRIST AS THE MAN OF SORROWS, SAINT CATHERINE, AND ANOTHER FEMALE SAINT (IRENE?) IN ROUNDELS BELOW

Estimate: 300,000 - 500,000 USD

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Lot Details

Description

Property of a New England Private Collector

ANDREA DI NICCOLÒ

active Siena, c. 1470 - 1512

MADONNA AND CHILD SURROUNDED BY SAINTS ANTHONY ABBOT, FRANCIS, JEROME, AND MARY MAGDALENE, WITH CHRIST AS THE MAN OF SORROWS, SAINT CATHERINE, AND ANOTHER FEMALE SAINT (IRENE?) IN ROUNDELS BELOW


oil on panel, gold ground

15 ¾ by 11 ¼ in.; 40 by 28.5 cm.


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Condition Report

To request a condition report for this lot, please contact Isabel.Richards@sothebys.com.

Cataloguing

Provenance

A. Gore, London, 1927;

Douglas Cory-Wright, Esq., London;

Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby's, 17 January 1985, lot 39;

There acquired by a private collector, New York;

From whom acquired by present owner in 2012.

Catalogue Note

Andrea di Niccolò was active in Siena in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. According to Bernard Berenson, he studied under Vecchietta (1410 – 1480) and Matteo di Giovanni Bartoli (c. 1430 – 1495). In 1470, at the beginning of his career, Andrea worked with Giovanni di Paolo on frescoes at the Ospedale della Scala, Siena, one of Europe’s first and most important hospitals. In the same year he made a tabernacle for the Oratorio della Campania in San Bernardino, and returned in 1477 to complete additional frescoes depicting the life of Saint Lucy.


While Andrea would remain active through the beginning of the sixteenth century, the tenderness of the Madonna's face here shows a distinct influence from earlier Sienese painters such as Sano di Pietro, who entered the Sienese guild in 1428. The rendering of the the kneeling Saints in his Mass of St. Gregory, a work classified as "early" by Berenson1 may be compared with the same figures in the present picture, thus offering a possible dating within the artists career. 


The present painting was intended for private devotion, and its original patron may have been a female member of a religious order. The accompanying saints— Anthony Abbot, Francis, Jerome, and Mary Magdalene—are all known for renouncing worldly excess and living austerely in prayer. The two female saints in the roundels at bottom are Catherine of Siena, celebrated for her mystic marriage to Christ and her theological writings, and probably Irene, known for caring for St. Sebastian when he was shot with arrows. While women had little power in the early modern Catholic church, these two figures highlight types of piety especially associated with women: visions and mysticism and nursing or caring for the sick and disadvantaged. Christ as the Man of Sorrows, seen in the central roundel, is a common focus of meditation for female religious, as these women considered themselves brides of Christ.


1. See B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools, London 1968, cat. no. 838.

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