CECCO DI PIETRO | SAINT RAINERIUS; A BISHOP SAINT
30,000 to - 40,000 USD
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, New York
CECCO DI PIETRO
Documented in Pisa from 1364 to 1399 - died before 1402
A BISHOP SAINT
a pair, both tempera on panel, gold ground
the former panel: 36¾ by 13½ in.; 93.2 by 34.1 cm.
the latter panel: 36⅜ by 13⅝ in.; 92.3 by 34.4 cm.
both framed: 46 by 24 in.; 116.8 by 61 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.
This pair of saints is in good condition overall in light of their age and having been removed from their original setting. A thick, discolored, plasticky varnish coats both panels; this, along with a heavy layer of dirt, suppresses the overall tonality and detracts from the quality of the workmanship. The dirt and vanish have settled into the punchwork applied to the halos and garment edging, undermining their intended textural effect. It appears the figures were framed within arched openings, and the top corner regions where the framework was removed have been restored with a loose, brushy application of toned bronze paint.
In the Bishop Saint, the paint layers are quite well preserved, as evidenced by the strong brushwork in the face and still-bright blue robe lining and book cover. The Bishop Saint wears a red robe decorated with a scrolling floral motif, partially executed in gold, that now appears brownish-black. Blue decorations atop the red field have darkened in areas, but the original bright cerulean is visible in some portions on close inspection. Scattered small losses in the robe have been retouched but not filled. Other minor losses throughout are limited and are visible under ultra-violet illumination.
The paint layers in the panel depicting Saint Rainerius are for the most part in beautiful condition, with a few larger losses in both feet and scattered smaller losses is the ground. The bottom half of the saint's hairshirt is peppered with pinpoint losses along the cupped edges of the cross-grain age cracks.
Both of the thick, vertically grained panels display old insect activity on the reverse. The upper left corner (viewed from the reverse) of the Bishop Saint has experienced a significant loss of wood but appears structurally stable, and a coating has been applied to the reverse to prevent further damage. Woodworm tunneling is also visible on the Saint Rainerius panel, as are three cracks following the grain. Two wood blocks have been screwed into the panel near the right edge. The Saint Rainerius panel too appears stable.
Conservation treatment to address the cupping and to remove discolored old restoration and the darkened, greasy varnish would be worthwhile as it can be expected to improve the appearance of both panels. More focused retouching in the bishop's red garment could bring out the delicate pattern and highlight the contrasting blue decorations.
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Please see note for previous lot.