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    Sale 7633

    Old Master & British Pictures (Day Sale)

    3 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 220

    The Master of the Misericordia (Florence, active mid-14th Century)

    A Prophet

    Price Realised  


    The Master of the Misericordia (Florence, active mid-14th Century)
    A Prophet
    tempera on gold ground panel
    12 5/8 x 8¾ in. (33 x 22.5 cm.)

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    Traditionally attributed to Taddeo Gaddi, this panel was associated with two others of prophets, formerly with Wildenstein in Paris (published by I. Hueck, 'Le copie di Johan Anton Ramboux da alcuni affreschi in Toscana ed in Umbria', Prospettiva, 23, 1980, p. 5, figs. 10 and 11), by Professor Miklós Boskovits, who suggested that it is 'possibly' by the Misericordia Master (letter of 27 January 2006). This attribution to the Misericordia Master is accepted by Sonia Chiodo (correspondence 9 February 2006), who points to stylistic analogies with such works of the artist's maturity as the Vis dolorum at Nantes and the two scenes from the life of Saint Eligius in the Prado, Madrid (nos. 2481-2). She proposes a date in the 1360s, and suggests that the panels belong to a larger work of the kind of Daddi's Crucifix in the Museo Bandini at Fiesole: she has, however, some doubt as to the Misericordia Master's authorship of the Wildenstein panels, 'characterised by an archaising and almost neo-giottesque character'.

    Richard Offner was the first to isolate the oeuvre of a productive artist who may have been associated with Jacopo di Cione and is in some ways compatible with, although more subtle than, Niccolò di Pietro Gerini. Offner's Master of the Orcagnesque Misericordia was named after the Madonna della Misericordia in the Accademia, Florence. The painter is distinguished from many of his Florentine contemporaries by the intelligence of his emulation of earlier Florentine painters, notably Bernardo Daddi. Professor Boskovits had, by 1975, very considerably expanded the catalogue of the Maestro della Misericordia, attributing some fifty works to him (Pittura Fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento, Florence, 1975, pp. 372-6).

    We are grateful to Mr Everett Fahy for confirming the attribution on the basis of first-hand examination.

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    In Florence, between 1832 and 1842, as Gaddo Gaddi, when copied by J. A. Ramboux.
    Rev. Montague Taylor; Christie's, London, 19 May 1897, lot 151, as Early Flemish (2 gns. to Buttery).
    Private Collection, London.