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    Sale 7471

    Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts

    14 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 7

    CHRIST ON THE CROSS BETWEEN THE VIRGIN AND ST JOHN, miniature cut from an ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

    Price Realised  

    CHRIST ON THE CROSS BETWEEN THE VIRGIN AND ST JOHN, miniature cut from an ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
    [Umbria, c.1470]175 x 190mm. Against a liquid gold ground, the seated Virgin and the kneeling St John the Evangelist are either side of the Cross; two angels hover above them with gold bowls to collect the blood from the hands and side of Christ; haloes are in burnished gold (wear to and losses from painted border on three sides touching background and landscape on right, slight cockling on right, small hole in background and top and wormhole in Christ's thigh, small surface losses, creases and spots). Mounted on wooden stretcher and framed.

    This expressive miniature with its stark outlines is in the style of Niccolò da Foligno, also known as l'Alunno, whose activity is documented from 1452 to 1502 in centres like Assissi and Perugia as well as his home town. The attenuated Christ reflects the artist's earlier style, before he adopted the broader forms and greater anatomical accuracy of the classicising art of some of his contemporaries, see G. Benazzi and E. Lunghi eds, Nicolaus pictor, Nicolò di Liberatore detto l'Alunno, exhibition catalogue, Foligno, Palazzo Trinci, 2004.

    The follower responsible for this miniature has centred his image on Christ and so cut the figures of the Virgin and St John and left the blood from Christ's feet to flow uncollected. The format of the miniature and its unwritten reverse suggest that it may have prefaced a confraternity or guild book, perhaps dedicated to the Passion of Christ or Christ Crucified.


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