Sold Without Reserve | GIUSTO DE' MENABUOI | TWO EVANGELISTS; SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT; SAINT JEROME; SAINT MARGARET OF HUNGARY; SAINT DOMINIC
Estimate: 200,000 - 300,000 USD
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, Sold Without Reserve
GIUSTO DE' MENABUOI
(active in Lombardy and Padua circa 1349 - 1390)
TWO EVANGELISTS; SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT; SAINT JEROME; SAINT MARGARET OF HUNGARY; SAINT DOMINIC
a set of six, all tempera and gold ground on panel
first Evangelist: 3⅞ by 3⅞ in.; 9.8 by 9.6 cm.;
second Evangelist: 4 by 3⅞ in.; 10.1 by 9.8 cm.;
Saint Gregory the Great: 4½ by 4¼ in.; 11.3 by 10.8 cm.;
Saint Jerome: 4½ by 4⅜ in.; 11.3 by 10.9 cm.;
Saint Margaret of Hungary: 4⅜ by 4¼ in.; 11.1 by 10.6 cm.;
Saint Dominic: 4¼ by 4⅜ in.; 10.8 by 11 cm.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
Each of these diminutive pictures is in good, stable condition overall. For the most part, the figures are fairly well preserved with wear consistent with the age of the paintings. A typical, age-related craquelure has developed in all the paintings, but only in the depiction of Saint Dominic was retouching required to minimize the appearance of the crack pattern. In all cases, select contours have been lightly strengthened to maintain legibility and the pinks of the flesh tones in the faces have been reinforced. An age-related alteration may have occurred in Saint Jerome's garment, which shows the greatest amount of restoration aside from the red robe worn by Saint Gregory. A yellowed varnish coats each painting, especially impacting lighter passages, with a slightly milkiness that is visible in the dark garments of St. Dominic and St. Margaret of Hungary. Each depiction of a saint is executed on a thin horizontally grained wood board that has developed a convex lateral warp. Cleaning to remove the aged varnish and restoration could be considered; the color palette would brighten while more focused retouching would afford a less congested appearance to some passages, and overall the charm of these small images would become more evident. Even so, the paintings are in a sound condition and may be displayed as is.
"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."
Probably, the Monastery of the Vergini alla Vettabbia, Milan, 1363;
His sale, New York, American Art Association, 8-11 December 1926, lot 759 (as Manner of Giovanni da Milano);
Mrs. Harry Hatry;
Thence by bequest to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, 1956;
By whom sold, New York, Sotheby's, 24 January 2008, lot 35;
There acquired by G. Sarti Antiques, London;
From whom acquired, November 2010.
Florence, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Giovanni da Milano: capolavori del gotico fra Lombardia e Toscana, 10 June - 2 November 2008, no. 9c;
Paris, Galerie G. Sarti; Vienna, Liechtenstein Museum, From Gothic Tradition to the Renaissance: Italian Painting from the 14th and 15th Centuries, September 2008 - April 2009, no. 12.
R. Longhi, "Calepino veneziano. I. Il polittico di Giusto de'Menabuoi per suor Isotta Terzaghi (1363)," in Arte veneta, vol. II, 1947, p. 79-80, reproduced figs. 77-78 (reprint in Edizione delle opere complete di R.Longhi, vol. X, Florence, 1978, pp. 65-66, reproduced figs 168 b-c);
F. Russoli, "Giusto de Menabuoi: S. Paolo, S. Agostino, S. Caterina, S. Giovanni Battista, S. Tomaso d'Aquino, S. Antonio abate," in Arte lombarda dai Visconti agli Sforza, exhibition catalogue, Milan 1958, p. 16, under cat. nos. 36-40;
S. Bettini, Le pitture di Giusto de' Menabuoi nel Battistero del Duomo di Padova, Venice 1960, pp. 12-13;
L. Castelfranchi Vegas, Giusto de' Menabuoi, Milan 1966, n.p;
F. R. Shapley, Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection, Italian Schools, XIII-XV Century, London, 1966, p. 39, under cat. nos. K179, K231 A/B and K1122 A/B, note 3;
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools, vol. I, London 1968, p. 198;
R. Longhi, Lavori in Valpadana dal Trecento al Primo Cinquecento, 1934-1964, Florence 1973, pp. 236 and 256, reproduced fig. 139 (where he reconstructed the altarpiece from which these six paintings originated placing them along the bottom of the altarpiece);
B.J. Delaney, Giusto de' Menabuoi: Iconography and Style, Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia Unversity, New York 1972, pp. 331-333;
Dizionario enciclopedico Bolaffi dei pittori e degli incisori italiani : dall' XI al XX secolo, Turin 1975, vol. vii, p. 346;
B.J. Delaney, "Giusto de' Menabuoi in Lombardy," in The Art Bulletin, vol. 58, no. 1, March 1976, p. 21 (as location unknown);
A. Volpe, "Giusto de'Menabuoi, S. Ambrogio," in Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna. Doni acquisti depositi. Le acquisizioni degli ultimi dieci anni 1987-1997, exhibition catalogue, Bologna 1997, p. 62;
A. Volpe, "Giusto de' Menabuoi, S. Ambrogio," in Percorsi del barocco: acquisti, doni e depositi alla Pinacoteca nazionale di Bologna: 1990-1999, exhibition catalogue, Bologna 1999, p. 14;
C. Travi, "Johanes de Mediolano, Justus de Florentia e la pittura su tavola in Lombardia nel XIV secolo," in Giovanni da Milano, exhibition catalogue, Florence 2008, and p. 84, reproduced fig. p.72, and pp. 166-173, cat no. 9, reproduced fig. p.169;
C. Travi, in From Gothic Tradition to the Renaissance: Italian painting from the 14th and 15th centuries, exhibition catalogue, Paris 2008, pp. 72-83, reproduced.
These half-length saints once likely formed part of the second register of a now dismembered polyptych completed by Giusto de’ Menabuoi in Milan in 1363 for the Terzaghi, an important Milanese family . The date and patron's name are inscribed on the central panel of the altarpiece, which depicts a Madonna and Child Enthroned with a Kneeling Yxotta de Terzago and another donatrix (formerly in the Schiff Collection and today in the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale in Pisa) . Flanking this central piece would have been six full length saints—Anthony Abbot, Thomas Aquinas, John the Baptist, Catherine of Alexandria, Paul and Augustine (University of Georgia, Georgia Museum of Art, Kress Collection) . The present panels would have likely filled the empty spaces between the upper sections of the full-length saints, an idea reinforced by two small roundel prophets of similar dimensions at the upper corners of the Schiff Madonna. Though small in size, these panels are a testament to the formative years of the Florentine-born artist's early career in Lombardy, where he was active until around 1370, when he moved to Padua.
1. For a more complete reconstruction of the polyptych, see Delaney 1976, op. cit., pp. 20-22, figs. 1-6.
2. ibid., fig. 4.
3. See Shapley, op. cit.