View full screen - View 1 of Lot 13. The Madonna and Child enthroned between Saints Louis of Toulouse and Francis (central panel); Crucifixion below the Angel of the Annunciation (left shutter); Madonna della Misericordia below the Virgin Annunciate (right shutter): a triptych.
13

The Mezzana Master

The Madonna and Child enthroned between Saints Louis of Toulouse and Francis (central panel); Crucifixion below the Angel of the Annunciation (left shutter); Madonna della Misericordia below the Virgin Annunciate (right shutter): a triptych

Property from a Distinguished Private Collection

The Mezzana Master

The Mezzana Master

The Madonna and Child enthroned between Saints Louis of Toulouse and Francis (central panel); Crucifixion below the Angel of the Annunciation (left shutter); Madonna della Misericordia below the Virgin Annunciate (right shutter): a triptych

The Madonna and Child enthroned between Saints Louis of Toulouse and Francis (central panel); Crucifixion below the Angel of the Annunciation (left shutter); Madonna della Misericordia below the Virgin Annunciate (right shutter): a triptych

Property from a Distinguished Private Collection

The Mezzana Master

Active in Prato circa 1320-40

The Madonna and Child enthroned between Saints Louis of Toulouse and Francis (central panel); Crucifixion below the Angel of the Annunciation (left shutter); Madonna della Misericordia below the Virgin Annunciate (right shutter): a triptych 



oil on gold ground panel, a triptych, in an integral frame

overall when open: 15 ⅜ by 19 ¼ in.; 39.1 by 48.9 cm.

The following condition report has been provided by Karen Thomas of Thomas Art Conservation, 119 West 23rd Street, Suite 400, New York, NY 10011, 212-562-4024, karen@thomasartconservation.com ,an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This modestly sized triptych includes passages that are quite well preserved alongside portions whose condition reflects routine use and veneration. Areas painted with more resilient paints, such as the flesh passages and lighter-colored regions, have held up relatively well over time. The presence of a dark craquelure has a visual impact on these lighter passages as it draws the eye away from details and subtler modeling. Mary's blue mantle has darkened over time but is otherwise intact. Varying degrees of wear are found throughout, and are more pronounced along the craquelure, especially in the red paints. The largest lacunae are located in the wings, where the bottom 2-3 inches of each have suffered large losses. Generous retouching from several restoration campaigns is found across the triptych. Much of the retouching focuses on addressing wear, while later retouching appears to correct colors shifts in old repairs and reinforces contours and shadows to improve legibility of the forms. On the right wing, rather than reconstruct the missing portion of the crowd, the loss has been restored with a trattegio technique designed to appear visually neutral. On the left wing, the losses have been restored to recreate the bottom of the flanking figures and the foot of the hill with the skull. The varnish layers are discolored and fairly dirty. This, in combination with fading in some of the reds and the dark craquelure, subdues the overall tonal range and contrast. All three parts of the triptych display a mild curvature and are structurally sound. A well-constructed custom metal mount holds the triptych and allows for safe handling and display. This triptych would benefit aesthetically from cleaning and a new restoration but is in sound enough condition that it may be displayed in its current state.


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, by early 1950s;
Carlo de Carlo (d. 1999), Florence;
His estate sale, Florence, Finarte Semenzato, 11 June 2003, lot 18 (as Bettino di Corsino da Prato);
Private collection;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 7 December 2006, lot 41;
There acquired by the present collector.
R. Offner, A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. Close Following of the S. Cecilia Master, sec. III, vol. VI, New York 1956, pp. 62-3, pl. XVII;
M. Boskovits, The Painters of the Miniaturist Tendency. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting, sec. III, vol. IX, Florence 1984, pp. 25-6;
G. Raggionieri, in L. Bellosi, A. Angelini and G. Raggionieri, Le art figurative, ed. G. Cerubini, Florence, 1991, p. 952, note 1;
A. Tartuferi in The Alana Collection: Italian Paintings from the 14th to 16th Century, vol. III, ed. S. Chiodo and S. Padovani, Rome 2014, pp. 175-78, cat. no. 24, reproduced.

Richard Offner was the first to identify a corpus of paintings, including the present triptych, as by the "Mezzana Master" in his 1956 corpus on Florentine painting (see Literature). Miklós Boskovits later proposed an identification of the anonymous master to Bettino di Corsino, the documented Pratese painter active between 1288 and 1313, though he subsequently retracted that connection given later findings.When the present work was offered in 2006, Boskovits again confirmed that the triptych was painted by a Pratese artist and dated it to between 1320 and 1340. As Saint Louis of Toulouse was canonized in 1317, his inclusion in the central panel marks that year as the earliest possible date for triptych. Stylistically, the spatial devices and perspective elements seen here echo those not seen until the 1330s, a more probably dating for the work. 


1. See Offner, 1984, op. cit. for Boskovits's initial argument; his later retraction is detailed in C. Cerretelli, 'Le Piazza e il Palazzo del Commune', Prato, Storia e arti, XXXI, 1990, pp. 32-5.