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    Sale 7610

    Important Old Master & British Pictures Day Sale Including Property From The Collection Of The Princely House Of Liechtenstein

    9 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 108

    Umbro-Sienese School, circa 1470

    A cassone panel: The story of Virginia and the decemvir Appius Claudius Crassus, with the viri illustres Epaminondas, Scipio Africanus and Lucius Brutus

    Price Realised  

    Umbro-Sienese School, circa 1470
    A cassone panel: The story of Virginia and the decemvir Appius Claudius Crassus, with the viri illustres Epaminondas, Scipio Africanus and Lucius Brutus
    inscribed 'EPAMINVNDAS SPARTANVS', 'IMPVLSV GLAVDII ANTE TRIBUNAL DEREMVL I APPIT', 'SCIPIO AFRICANVS', 'VIRGINIA VIRGINIAM IMPIO PATRVO NECAT PATRE', 'L·BRVTVS ROMANVS' (along the upper and lower edge)
    tempera on gold ground panel, the narrative scenes set back
    the narrative panels each 22 x 30¼ in. (55.9 x 76.8 cm.); the cassone front 12¾ x 62 in. (32.4 x 157.5 cm.) overall


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    We are indebted to both Everett Fahy and Luke Syson who independently observed that this cassone front is stylistically related to two panels with the Farewell of Achilles and Briseis and Briseis before Agamemnon, respectively measuring 31.4 by 63.3 and 31.1 by 63.5 cm, at Écouen (A. Eilande-Bradensburg, et al, Les Cassoni peints du Musée national de la Renaissance, Paris, 2004, pp. 64-7, nos. 9 and 10). These with other sections of a pair of cassoni were drawn when in the Palazzo Corbiniani at Gubbio in 1830 by the French connoisseur J.A. Ramboux (op. cit., figs. 32 a-d), but were separated from their companions by 1858 when they are listed in the Campana inventory. Ramboux's drawings show that at the sides of one of the Corbiniani cassone there were trios of classical figures and deities, all identified by inscriptions as is the case with those in this cassone: one of the central elements, Menelaus, was moreover placed in a rectangular niche like used in this panel.

    The Écouen panels were attributed by F. Todini and E. Lunghi to Niccolò di Liberatore da Foligno, but this view was not accepted by Everett Fahy. In the view of the authors of the Écouen catalogue, 'l'attribution de ces panneaux nous paraît délicate', they hesitate between Umbrian and Florentine workshops. The author of the left-hand scene in the Liechtenstein cassone perhaps reveals an awareness also of Sienese developments,which is not surprising as the doyen of Sienese painters of the time, Matteo di Giovanni, had strong links with Borgo San Sepolcro, a town with close connections with the dukedom of the Montefeltro, to whom Gubbio belonged.

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    Provenance

    The Princely House of Liechtenstein, at Veste Liechtenstein, Moedling, by November 1922, when moved to the Gallery of the Garden Palace at Rossau, until 1944, when moved to Schloss Vaduz, Liechtenstein, where displayed in the Südrondell Saal until 2006.


    Literature

    P. Schubring, Cassoni, Truhen und Truhenbilder der italienischen Frührenaissance. Ein Beitrag zur Profanmalerei im Quattrocento, Leipzig, 1915, nos. 626 and 627.