PSEUDO-PIERFRANCESCO FIORENTINO | MADONNA AND CHILD WITH THE INFANT ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST AND AN ANGEL
Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 USD
active in Florence 1460 - 1500
MADONNA AND CHILD WITH THE INFANT ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST AND AN ANGEL
tempera on panel, a tondo
32¼ in.; 82 cm. diameter
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, email@example.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
This painting is in sound condition overall and presents nicely. Retouching is found throughout the picture to knit together wear and what appears to be old cleaning damage. Miniscule pitting in the paint layers has been addressed with an almost pointillistic style of restoration that gives the impression of a patina of age. The gold patterns appear to be reconstructed. The panel with its integral frame displays an overall transverse curvature and appears to be structurally sound. Modern crossbars have been attached to the reverse to provide additional stability. The painting shows no need of treatment and can 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."
Guerri family, Villa Margherita, Fiesole;
Grassi collection, Florence;
Private collection, Italy.
Modena, Cantore Galleria Antiquario, Da Ludovico Carracci a Ubaldo Gandolfi, September 2017, no cat. no.
A. Labriola in Da Bernardo Daddi a Beato Angelico. Dipinti fiorentini del Lindenau-Museum di Altenburg, exhibition catalogue, Florence 2005, p. 191;
N. Pons in Da Ludovico Carracci a Ubaldo Gandolfi, exhibition catalogue, Modena 2017, no. cat. no., pp. 8-10, reproduced in color p. 8 and color details pp. 9, 10.
The Pseudo-Pierfrancesco Fiorentino was a name coined by Mason Perkins in 1928 to describe the group of diverse paintings first isolated by Bernard Berenson. In 1976 Federico Zeri noted that this "artist" was in fact several hands using compositions, figural groups, and motifs from Filippo Lippi and Pesellino.1 It is possible that the workshop had direct contact with these two artists and employed cartoons or copied from original paintings. Creighton Gilbert proposed in 1988 that the Pseudo-Pierfrancesco Fiorentino can be identified as Riccardo di Benedetto, also known as "Riccardo delle nostre donne" for his painted Madonnas.2 In any case, this artist or workshop specialized in half-length Madonna and Child compositions with limited variations in the background or in the attendant saints or angels. This compositional type is derived from Filippo Lippi's Adoration in the woods in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.3 A tondo with a composition nearly identical to the present, with the cityscape background replaced with a gold ground, was formerly in the Palazzo Rossi, Bologna, and sold at Sotheby's London, 8 December 1976, lot 66. Another close comparison is the tondo at Bob Jones University Art Museum, which replaces the small angel at right with a taller angel holding lilies, but which also has a sprawling landscape background.4
As is typical with the works given to the Pseudo-Pierfrancesco Fiorentino, the painted surface and frame together consist of a single piece of wood.
1. F. Zeri, Italian Paintings in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore 1976, vol. I, pp. 80-85.
2. C. Gilbert, L'Arte del Quattrocento nelle testimonianze coeve, Florence and Vienna 1988, p. 202.
3. Filippo Lippi, Adoration in the woods, c. 1459, tempera on poplar panel, 129.4 by 118.6 cm. Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, no. 69. See C. Eisler, Masterworks in Berlin, A City's Paintings Reunited, New York 1996, p. 191.
4. Pseudo-Pierfrancesco Fiorentino, Madona and Child with angel and young St. John the Baptist, tempera on panel, 79.4 cm. diameter. Bob Jones University Art Museum, Greenville, SC. See D.S. Pepper, Bob Jones University Collection of Religious Art, Italian Paintings, Greenville 1984, pp. 24, 163, no. 19.1.