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    Sale 7714

    Old Master & British Pictures

    24 April 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 94

    Domenico Bigordi, il Ghirlandaio (Florence 1449-1494)

    Two Angels in Adoration

    Price Realised  


    Domenico Bigordi, il Ghirlandaio (Florence 1449-1494)
    Two Angels in Adoration
    with an unidentified armorial red-wax seal on the stretcher
    fresco, laid down onto canvas
    34 1/8 x 19 3/8 in. (86.7 x 49.2 cm.)

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    Previously attributed to both Pesellino (label on the reverse) and Antoniazzo Romano, this picture was recognized as Ghirlandaio by Everett Fahy in 1996. He suggested that it may have formed part of the mural decoration that adjoined the marble tomb of Francesca Tornabuoni (d. 1471), in the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, which was executed circa 1482 and thus closely contemporary with the artist's work in association with Perugino, Botticelli and others in the Sistine Chapel. The scheme consisted of four narrative scenes, two from the life of Saint John the Baptist, two from that of the Virgin (G. Vasari, Le vite di più eccellenti pittori, scultori ed architetti, ed. G. Milanesi, Florence, III, 1878, pp. 259-60). The patron was a prominent Florentine merchant, Giorgio Tornabuoni (1428-1497) (rather than his father Francesco as Vasari states), who himself was portrayed in the Sistine Chapel and subsequently commissioned the celebrated frescoes of the choir of S. Maria Novella, Florence from the artist.

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 7 July 2004, lot 4 (sold for £65,725).

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the following additional provenance:

    Henry 'Bogey' Harris, London.
    with Wildenstein, New York, by 1969, as Antoniazzo Romano.
    with Wildenstein, London, by 1996.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 7 July 2004, lot 4 (sold for £65,725).

    Henry Harris was an avid collector of Italian primitives, sculpture, and Renaissance furniture, whose taste may have been formed in Florence before the First World War by Herbert Horne, the biographer of Botticelli. His collection was housed in an impressive Georgian house on the east side of Bedford Square before he moved to Cheyne Row after the Second World War, and was sold in a series of estate sales in 1950. We are grateful to Mr. Everett Fahy for his help in cataloguing this lot.