• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7632

    Old Master & British Pictures (Evening Sale)

    2 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 31

    Segna di Bonaventura (active Siena c. 1298 (?)-before 1331)

    The Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints Bartholomew and Ansanus and a donor

    Price Realised  

    Segna di Bonaventura (active Siena c. 1298 (?)-before 1331)
    The Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints Bartholomew and Ansanus and a donor
    inscribed 'S BARTHOLOMEU' and 'S ANSANUS' (below the Saints, lower left and lower right respectively)
    tempera on gold ground panel, pointed top
    65½ x 32¼ in. (166.4 x 81.5 cm.)


    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

    This ambitious panel was first published by the Dutch art historian Raymond van Marle as by a follower of Segna di Bonaventura, who was himself one of the most accomplished of the immediate followers of Duccio. Berenson's view, published posthumously in 1968, was that it is by Segna himself. Stubbelbine, who dated it circa 1330-35, linked it, and a group of five other pictures, with the pentaptych of the Madonna and Child with Saints John the Evangelist, Catherine, Augustine and Giles at the Museo Diocesano d'Arte Sacra at Montalcino (see Stubbelbine, fig. 502). In his review of Stubblebine's publication, Miklós Boskovits (Art Bulletin, LXIV, no. 3, September 1982, p. 497) observed that he considered the pictures given by Stubbelbine to his Montalcino Master all represent a phase of Segna's own activity. Everett Fahy believes the pictures in question to be late works by Segna, while Keith Christiansen (verbal opinion) notes that these fall on the cusp between Segna and Niccolò di Segna, his equally gifted son.

    The panel was evidently commissioned by the unidentified donor who kneels before the throne: that he chose to be placed below Saint Ansanus implies that he was from Siena. Although the lateral Saints are cut by the sides of the panel, the structure of this, with four upright planks of approximately equal width linked by horizontal batons which have early bevelling at the sides, implies that this has not been cut down.

    The composition reflects that of a sequence of larger enthroned Madonnas which were inspired by Duccio's Maestà: these include the Badia a Isola Madonna now at San Casciano in Val di Pesa, the Cini Madonna formerly in a chapel outside Perugia which is attributed to the same artist, and the namepiece of the Master of Città di Castello. Closely related is Segna's own masterpiece, the Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints in the Collegiata of S. Giuliano, Castiglion Fiorentino. That picture is similar to the panel under discussion in a number of respects: the type of the Madonna, the detail of the thrones and the scale of the donors in relation to the steps of these; and it is not irrelevant that Saint John the Baptist on the right of the Castiglion Fiorentino altarpiece is 'cut' in much the same way as the Saint Ansanus. The pattern of the Madonna and Child is paralleled in a small panel in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena (no. 41, Stubbelbine, fig. 504, as by the Montalcino Master). While the types are unmistakably those developed by Segna, it is clear that he was aware of contemporary works by other masters raised in the same tradition. In this respect one might cite Ugolino's somewhat smaller, but commanding, Madonna and Child enthroned at San Casciano (Stubbelbine, figs. 415-6).

    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

    Bonvini Collection, Florence.
    Bondi Collection, Florence.
    Luigi Pisa, Villa della Luna, San Domenico di Fiesole; sale, Circolo Artistico, Venice, September 1938, lot 721, as Sienese School; sale, Alfredo Geri, Milan, 2-7 September 1939, lot 343, illustrated p. 93, as Segna di Bonaventura.
    The Republic of the Philippines; Christie's, New York, 11 January 1991, lot 7, as Segna di Bonaventura, where acquired by the present owner.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the following amended provenance and additional exhibition history:

    PROVENANCE:

    Bonvini Collection, Florence.
    Bondi Collection, Florence.
    Luigi Pisa, Villa della Luna, San Domenico di Fiesole; sale, Circolo Artistico, Venice, September 1938, lot 721, as Sienese School; sale, Galleria Alfredo Geri of Milan, Palazzo delle Prigioni, Venice, 2-7 September 1939, lot 343, illustrated p. 93.
    The Republic of the Philippines; Christie's, New York, 11 January 1991, lot 7.
    Gianfranco Luzzetti, Florence, by September 1991.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 10 December 1993, lot 71, where acquired by the present owner.

    EXHIBITED:

    Florence, 18 September-6 October 1991, Collezione Gianfranco Luzzetti: Dipinti, sculture, disegni, XIV-XVIII secolo, exhibition catalogue by A. Tartuferi, no. 1, illustrated, as c. 1325.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN COLLECTOR (LOTS 30, 31, 34 & 35)


    Literature

    R. van Marle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, The Hague, II, 1924, p. 153, fig. 103, as a follower of Segna di Bonaventura.
    U. Ojetti, Catalogue de la Collection Pisa, Milan, 1937, I, p. 111, no. 721; II, pl. CXVI, as school of Segna di Bonaventura.
    B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools, London, 1968, I, p. 393, as Segna di Bonaventura.
    J.H. Stubbelbine, Duccio di Buoninsegna and his School, Princeton, 1979, I, p. 154; II, fig. 501, as the Montalcino Polyptych Master.