EMILIAN SCHOOL, THIRD QUARTER 16TH CENTURY | THE MADONNA AND CHILD
Property from a Distinguished New York Collection
EMILIAN SCHOOL, THIRD QUARTER 16TH CENTURY
THE MADONNA AND CHILD
oil on canvas
canvas: 28 by 21½ in.; 71 by 54.5 cm.
framed: 39 by 32½ in.; 99.1 by 82.6 cm.
The canvas appears to be thinly lined. The painting reads well and presents a strong image beneath an old and slightly discolored varnish. There are some areas here and there that have lost some definition, primarily in the background and the shadows, though there are details such as the face of the Madonna that are well-preserved. Inspection under UV reveals areas of retouching in the background at upper left, as well as areas near the extreme edges. There are other finely applied strokes of retouching scattered throughout, for example in the fabrics, where some of the retouches have discolored and are visible to the naked eye (such as in the shadows of the blues at lower right). There is an area of retouching near the fingers of the Madonna's right hand and a possible old line of repair in the shadows between the Child's bent knee and thigh. There are a few thin strokes of retouching to the child's face, and in the shadows near the chin, but the Madonna's face is largely untouched, with a only a spot in her forehead and one in her hair. Offered in a decoratively carved giltwood frame.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Sir George Allen, K.C.I.E., London;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 1 July 1927, lot 142 (as Parmigianino), to Colnaghi;
Anonymous sale ("The Property of a Gentleman"), London, Christie's, April 9, 1990, lot 72 (as circle of Pietro Faccini);
There purchased by a private collector;
By whom anonymously sold, New York, Sotheby’s, 27-28 January 2008, lot 116;
There acquired by the present collector.
Of high quality and distinctive handling, this work has so far eluded a secure attribution. The composition betrays an awareness of Emilian painting of the first half of the 16th Century, with traces of both Bolognese and Parmese elements, though it has also been suggested that it displays Tuscan influences.
The design is in fact recorded in a print by Mariano Bovi, which appears in the same orientation as the present canvas, although the background of the print lacks the drapery and window found in the painting. The print is after a painting formerly in the collection of Sir William Hamilton by 1784, when it was attributed to Parmigianino.1
This same attribution to Parmigianino was applied to the present painting when it was in the collection of Sir George Allen, although when it was sold at auction in 1990, it was given to an artist in the circle of Pietro Faccini (see Provenance). The distinctive handling lends itself to attributions to these two very different, idiosyncratic artists. It may be that the painting is from a less known phase of a particular artist's work, and in fact an attribution to the early phase of Federico Barocci's career has also been suggested.
1. See M. Mussini and G.M. De Rubeis, Parmigianino tradotto, Milan 2003, cat. no. 442.