MASTER OF THE ORTE MADONNA | THE VIRGIN AND CHILD
PROPERTY FROM SAM FOGG LTD, LONDON
MASTER OF THE ORTE MADONNA
Viterbo act. c. 1490–1520
THE VIRGIN AND CHILD
oil and tempera on panel, gold ground
overall dimensions: 47 x 35 cm.; 18½ x 13¾ in.
unframed: 46.5 x 35 cm.; 18 1/4 x 13 3/4 in.
framed: 54 x 41.5 cm.; 21 1/2 x 16 1/4 in.
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The panel has been cradled and is providing a stable, flat base for the painting. The picture appears to be in very good condition, with no extent damages or loss of paint. There is a small area in the upper right corner where the gilding and punch marks have been redone and there is an area of retouching in the Madonna's neck visible under raking light. Examination under ultraviolet light confirmed the retouching in the neck, which extends in an almost vertical line through the Madonna's jaw to a circle just below and around the right eye. There is also retouching in the red of her dress, which extends into the right leg of the Christ child, and further scattered minor retouching throughout. There is no need for further restoration or conservation and the painting is ready to hang.
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. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color 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. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Ettore Sestieri, Rome, 1947;
Private collection, Rhineland, since the 1960s/’70s;
Thence by descent;
Anonymous sale, Bonn, Auktionshaus Plückbaum, 6–7 October 2017, lot 1604, for €42,000, where acquired.
F. Todini, La Pittura Umbra dal Duecento al primo Cinquecento, Milan 1989, vol. I, p. 149, reproduced vol. 2, p. 541, fig. 1257.
"This is a particularly enchanting example of Umbrian Renaissance painting. The gilt background, with its fine punchwork decoration, provides a rich contrast to the intimacy of the figures. The picture would look absolutely magical illuminated by candlelight."
The finely punched gold background of this panel looks back to the tradition of early Christian icons, while the style of the figures is indebted to the latest developments in Umbrian painting, particularly the work of Pietro Perugino. The tenderness of the gestures between the Christ Child and his youthful Mother shows an awareness of this Renaissance master and is characteristic of work by the followers of Perugino, whose most profound interpreter was the young Raphael. The present work derives from the configuration of various paintings by Perugino depicting the seated Virgin and Child, a model that continued to enjoy enormous popularity in Umbria and Lazio, evident for example in such works as the panel of about 1515 at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge attributed to the artist’s studio.1 The name piece of this anonymous artist is a Madonna and Child in the Museo Diocesano in Orte, whose stylistic conformity is so close to the present work that both Gaudenz Freuler and Filippo Todini attributed it to the same master.2 Comparison between this and three other known panels by the Maestro della Madonna di Orte, active between around 1490 and 1520, and with the work of Perugino between the 1480s and 1490s, has led Freuler to date this to the last years of the century. The motif of the red prayer beads around the waist of the Christ Child are unique to this version and may be an indication of its function as a panel for private devotion destined for a domestic interior.
1 Acc. no. 120; tempera on panel, 54 x 45.5 cm.
2 F. Todini, La Pittura Umbra dal Duecento al primo Cinquecento, Milan 1989, vol. 2, figs 1256–61.