View full screen - View 1 of Lot 568. Madonna and Child Enthroned Between Two Angels and Saint Nicholas, Catherine of Alexandria, John the Baptist and Lawrence.
568

The Master of the Ashmolean Predella

Madonna and Child Enthroned Between Two Angels and Saint Nicholas, Catherine of Alexandria, John the Baptist and Lawrence

Estimate:

150,000 to - 200,000 USD

Property from a Distinguished Private Collection

The Master of the Ashmolean Predella

The Master of the Ashmolean Predella

Madonna and Child Enthroned Between Two Angels and Saint Nicholas, Catherine of Alexandria, John the Baptist and Lawrence

Madonna and Child Enthroned Between Two Angels and Saint Nicholas, Catherine of Alexandria, John the Baptist and Lawrence

Estimate:

150,000 to - 200,000 USD

Property from a Distinguished Private Collection

The Master of the Ashmolean Predella

Active in Florence circa 1360 - 1390

Madonna and Child Enthroned Between Two Angels and Saint Nicholas, Catherine of Alexandria, John the Baptist and Lawrence


tempera on panel

panel: 15 3/8 by 10 5/8 in.; 39 by 27 cm.

framed: 17 by 12 1/2 in.; 43.2 by 31.8 cm.

The following condition report has been provided by Karen Thomas of Pietro Edwards Society of Art Conservation, 336 West 37th Street, Suite 1580, New York, NY 10018, 212-457-8956, mh@edwards-society.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.


Across much of the picture the paint layers are in fairly good condition but do not appear to their best advantage. An aged, discolored and dirty varnish suppresses the colors and creates a dry, uneven surface due to areas of reticulation and wide-aperture drying cracks within the varnish. A network of dark craquelure in the paint is particularly noticeable in the lighter passages and, along with the dirt and discolored varnish, diminishes the appearance of nicely-preserved facial features and other small details. Darkening of the pigment, a common phenomenon, is visible in the blue mantle, as is a network of strong craquelure. Some restoration toning appears to have been applied in the shadows of the composition to improve legibility and contrast, and details in the angel's wings have been retouched. The color of the paint used for the painted decorations in the gilded garments of the bottom right saint appears to have altered over time.

The vertically grained wood panel has a marked lateral convex warp, and the frame (not original to the painting) has been carved to match the curvature of the panel. An old grain-oriented crack left of center, running two-thirds of the height of the panel appears stable.

Cleaning can be expected to improve the tonality and brightness, and a new restoration could lessen the visual impact of the craquelure and thereby improve the legibility of the small details throughout the figures.


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.

G. Sterbini, Rome;
Private collection, Italy, by 1979;
Private collection;
With Moretti Fine Art, Florence;
From whom acquired, 2011. 
A. Tartuferi, in Da Ambrogio Lorenzetti a Sandro Botticelli, Florence 2003, pp. 62-67, reproduced. 

The author of this tender Madonna and Child scene is so named after a predella depicting the Birth of the Virgin in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.1 Datable to circa 1385-1390, it can be considered a late work of this Florentine painter, comparable with a similarly rendered panel in the Chigi-Saraceni collection, Siena. 

Though little is known of this elusive artist’s life, he trained in Orcagna's workshop in the 1360s and continued his work there following his master’s death in 1368, when the workshop passed to Orcagna's younger brother, Jacopo di Cione.2 He is known to have assisted Orcagna from 1367-1368 with the Saint Matthew triptych, today in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence,3 and he has also been identified as the collaborator in Jacopo’s elaborate, large scale Crucifixion altarpiece of 1369-1370, today in the National Gallery in London.4 With the influence of his two teachers as his foundation, this master developed his own individualized style that is most clearly visible later in his career.  


1. Tempera on panel, gold ground, 37.4 by 65.2, inv. no. A47. See The Ashmolean Museum: Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Paintings, Oxford 2004, p. 141, reproduced.  

2. L. Kanter, Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence, 1300-1450, exhibition catalogue, New York 1994, p. 193.

3. Tempera on panel, 257 by 264 cm., inv. 1890, no. 3163. See Gli Uffizi: Catalogo Generale, Florence 1979, p. 396, cat. no. P1120, reproduced.

4. Tempera on panel, 154 by 138.5 cm., inv. no. NG1468. See C. Baker and T. Henry, The National Gallery: Complete Illustrated Catalogue, London 1995, p. 118, reproduced.