‘An object like this is an exceedingly rare survival to say the least,’ explains Emma Kronman of this magnificent miniature altarpiece, one of the finest and most important Trecento (14th century) pictures to come to auction in the last decade.
The central panel features all the ravishing colours, painstaking attention to pattern and detail, and tender intimacy that characterise the highest achievements of Bernardo Daddi, described as ‘certainly the greatest master in the Florence of his day’.
Bernardo Daddi, The Madonna and Child Enthroned With Saints. Tempera and gold on panel, in an engaged frame. 30 1/8 x 20 1/2 in. (76.5 x 52.1 cm.). Estimate on request. This work is offered in Old Masters: Part I on 14 April at Christie’s in New York
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Daddi worked both on a monumental, Giottesque scale — possibly even collaborating with Giotto on the decorations of the great Franciscan church of Santa Croce in Florence — and in a smaller format, producing private devotional pictures of great delicacy. These paintings, of which this work is an exceptionally fine example, are the epitome of what has been described as the Florentine ‘miniaturist tendency’, a sophisticated style of painting that would become popular, in no small part due to Daddi’s enormous success, in the 14th century.
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