Sold Without Reserve | MARIOTTO DI BIAGIO DI BINDO ALBERTINELLI | MADONNA AND CHILD ENTHRONED IN THE CLOUDS, SURROUNDED BY TWO ANGELS HOLDING INSTRUMENTS OF THE PASSION AND TWO CHERUBIM
Estimate: 300,000 - 500,000 USD
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, Sold Without Reserve
MARIOTTO DI BIAGIO DI BINDO ALBERTINELLI
(Florence 1474 - 1515)
MADONNA AND CHILD ENTHRONED IN THE CLOUDS, SURROUNDED BY TWO ANGELS HOLDING INSTRUMENTS OF THE PASSION AND TWO CHERUBIM
oil on panel
34¼ in.; 87 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
This painting is in very good condition overall and appears to have been cleaned and restored fairly recently. Much of the painting is well preserved and free of restoration, including the relatively vulnerable shell gold edging on Mary's mantle. The majority of the retouching is found in Mary's garments, where it addresses unevenness in the glazes used to model the folds, and in the shading of the angels' flesh to knit together wear. A light, stippled restoration paint has been added along the edges of some of the clouds. In four locations around the perimeter of the picture, old cracks with planar deformation in the paint appear to be associated with the construction of the woodpanel; the paint is secure. A clear, even varnish coats the surface. The vertically grained wood support is structurally sound and displays a convex lateral warp. This painting may be enjoyed 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."
Anonymous sale, Paris, Tajan, 22 June 2006, lot 4, where unsold;
With Antichità dei Bardi Srl, Florence;
Where acquired July 2013.
Mariotto Albertinelli was born in Florence as the son of a goldsmith and originally trained as a goldsmith himself before joining the studio of Cosimo Rosselli (1439 – 1507) alongside Piero di Cosimo (1462 – 1522) and Fra Bartolommeo (1472 – 1517). Albertinelli collaborated with the latter beginning in 1494, and again following Bartolommeo’s departure from the Dominican order. The frescoes for Florentine churches on which the two worked, including the Last Judgment at Santa Maria Nuova and the Scuola San Marco, seem as if they were painted by one hand. Influenced by his training and collaborations, Albertinelli developed a style that combines attention to linear perspective and monumental scale with ornamental detail and bold colors, as well as knowledge of Flemish traditions from Piero di Cosimo.
The present tondo reflects a Renaissance tradition of using this circular format for depictions of the Virgin and Child, which would fall out of fashion in the 16th century. The panel likely dates to 1506-09, the period just before Albertinelli resumed his collaboration with Fra Bartolommeo. The Madonna reveals Albetinelli’s move toward monumental forms and the cherubim holding banners demonstrate the lingering influence of surface details from his master Roselli. Stylistically, the present tondo compares with another tondo of the Adoration of the Christ Child dated 1505 in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (fig. 1) as well as with the Blessing Christ in the Galleria Borghese, Rome.
The iconography of the angels holding instruments of Christ's Passion is a poignant devotional theme that originally gained popularity in the medieval period. The contradiction between the innocence of the angels and the violent reminder of Christ's eventual sacrifice directed the viewer to meditate on the meaning of the iconography. While mourning Christ's death, and empathizing with the Virgin who knew her Son's tragic future, the viewer was simultaneously reminded of the joyful outcome of His Resurrection, here illustrated by the playful angels and cherubim.