• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7632

    Old Master & British Pictures (Evening Sale)

    2 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 33

    Giovanni di Tano Fei (active Florence late 14th and early 15th Century)

    Saint James the Great and Saint John the Baptist, with the Angel of the Annunciation in a trefoil above; and Saint Andrew and Saint Anthony Abbott, with the Virgin Annunciate in a trefoil above - the outer wings of an altarpiece

    Price Realised  

    Giovanni di Tano Fei (active Florence late 14th and early 15th Century)
    Saint James the Great and Saint John the Baptist, with the Angel of the Annunciation in a trefoil above; and Saint Andrew and Saint Anthony Abbott, with the Virgin Annunciate in a trefoil above - the outer wings of an altarpiece
    inscribed 'ECCE·AGNUS·DEI/ECCE·QUITOLIT·PEC' (on the Baptist's scroll) and with inscription 'S·IACBUS+SIOHAS·BATTIS' and 'S·ANDREAS·+·S ANTONIIS·ABB' (on the plinths)
    tempera on gold ground panel, shaped tops in integral frames
    52 x 21 in. (132 x 53.5 cm.) and 52 3/8 x 20 7/8 in. (133 x 53 cm.)
    a pair (2)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    We are grateful to Dott. Angelo Tartuferi and Professor Andrea de Marchi for both independently advancing the attribution for these previously unpublished lateral panels from an altarpiece to the Florentine painter Giovanni di Tano Fei, and also to Professor Miklós Boskovits for confirming this on the basis of photographs. This artist was formerly known by the sobriquet 'Maestro della Madonna del 1399' after the eponymous dated work in the Ospedale Serristori at Figline Valdarno, and was active during the last decade of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th. He was first identified by Federico Zeri, who characterised his style as combining '...elementi di Agnolo Gaddi con altri derivati da altre fonti, come Giovanni del Biondo e in genere la tradizione orcagnesca.' (F. Zeri, 'Appunti sul Lindenau-Museum di Altenburg', Bollettino d'Arte, XLIX, p. 49).

    Giovanni's oeuvre was further elucidated by Professor Boskovits in Pittura fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento 1370-1400, Florence, 1975, pp. 132, 241 n. 189, 258 n. 24, 359-62. While steeped in the tradition of Agnolo Gaddi, in whose studio he may have trained, Giovanni combines a highly refined late gothic sensibility that is particularly evident in these exquisite panels. Professor de Marchi compares them with the polyptych altarpiece, dated 1394, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (50.229.2). Professor Boskovits has further suggested the intriguing possibility that these panels may, in fact, be the missing lateral wings of the altarpiece in the Ospedale Serristori, Figline Valdarno dated 1399. Although the central section has lost its pinnacle, which survives intact in the present panels wherein the Annunciation is depicted, the dimensions would otherwise seem to be a perfect match.

    Special Notice

    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.


    Provenance

    Acquired in Belgium in the 1920s by the father of the present owner.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A FRENCH PRIVATE COLLECTION