Taddeo di Bartolo
Saint Simon; Saint Francis of Assisi
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection
Taddeo di Bartolo
Siena 1362/3 (?) - after 1422
Saint Francis of Assisi
a pair, both tempera on panel, gold ground
St. Simon, painted surface: 39 1/2 by 15 in.; 100.3 by 38.1 cm.
St. Francis, painted surface: 40 by 16 in.; 101.6 by 40.6 cm.
each, engaged frame: 43 1/2 by 17 in.; 110.5 by 43.2 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.
The panel maintains its original thickness. The reverse has a brownish coating, perhaps a later addition. The panel is constructed of a large member with vertical wood grain and a narrow horizontally grained strip, about 4 cm wide, attached at the lower edge. This join has cracked, and another crack extends upward into the upper panel member. Scattered holes on the surface suggest a slight amount of old woodworm activity.
The background has been regilded, and the gilding is abraded in areas. An area of the gilding to the right of the saint's head is lifting and should be consolidated.
The paint is detached and flaking at the lower edge where the panel has cracked and should likewise be secured. There are a few recent losses. Aside from the crack, the paint is largely well preserved. There is a slight amount of wear to the edges of the craquelure, especially at the left edge of the robe. There are occasional passages of cracking and abrasion as well as small points of mechanical damage throughout which have been retouched, notably through the saint's neck and proper left shoulder and his proper left foot. A larger repair is visible in the marble floor at the left edge. Small unretouched losses can also be seen. The mordant gilding of the stigmata is well preserved. The varnish is clear and even, with a pebbly surface.
The framing elements are modern. There is some cracking of the gesso in the arch and mechanical damage throughout.
This panel likewise maintains its original thickness and has a brown coating on the reverse, which in this case is flaking. The panel shows the same construction as that above, a large plank with a narrow original addition to the lower edge. Here a central vertical crack extends upward through most of the panel, repaired in the lower register with wood inserts.
The gilding has been renewed and is abraded in areas.
The paint layers are relatively well preserved overall. Retouching is present along the crack through the center of the panel, bisecting the saint's head and robe. There is a large loss to the marble floor at the bottom edge, and a few other mechanical damages and passages of retouching throughout. The retouching has discolored somewhat. The mordant gilding is in good condition. The varnish is clear and even, with a pebbly texture.
The framing elements are modern. There is a large crack at the center of the arch, and cracking to the gesso and gilding in this upper area. Some wear and mechanical damage are evident throughout.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
G. Freuler, Dagli eredi di Giotto al primo Cinquecento, Florence 2007, pp. 44-49, reproduced in color p. 45, reconstruction p. 47, details p. 49;
M. Boskovits, Maestri senesi e toscani nel Lindenau-Museum di Altenburg, Siena 2008, p. 115, reproduced p. 114, fig. 18a;
G. E. Solberg, "Taddeo di Bartolo's Altarpiece at S. Francesco in Pisa: new discoveries and a reconstruction," The Burlington Magazine 152, no. 1284 (March 2010): pp. 144-151, reproduced in color. 145, figs. 2-3.
ENGRAVED (St. Francis):
Don Niccolo Catalano, in Fiume del Terrestre Paradiso... 1652