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Pietro di Giovanni d'Ambrogio (Siena 1410-1449)
HUBERTUS WALD Enterpreneur, Donor and Collector of Art Hubertus Wald was 33 years of age when, just after the Second World War, he became an entrepreneur and built one of the first new movie theatres in Germany. His main assets: a positive entrepreneurial outlook and a permit from the press officer of the British occupation forces. People were hungry for US-movies and were willing to pay the usual entrance fee in Reichsmarks of uncertain value, along with a log of fire wood or a 'Brikett', a cube of pressed soft coal, per person to fuel the cinema's furnace. Step by step, Hubertus Wald formed what became the largest German cinema group of its time. He sold it when he foresaw that television would come to replace movie theatres and instead invested in real estate in Germany, the USA and Canada. When he passed away in 2005, aged 92, not only did he make his wife Renate, whom he had married 30 years earlier, his heir, but also the Hubertus Wald Stiftung, which he had founded in 1993. This charitable organisation finances medical research and treatment in Hamburg's hospitals and is a big donor to Hamburg's cultural institutions, such as its acclaimed museums and orchestra, the Hamburger Symphoniker. To sum up his life: he earned millions and he gave away millions. He was a man of style, extremely generous, as well as a very caring host who did all he could to see his many guests happy. His dinner parties on the fashionable island of Sylt were famous. And he was a discerning collector of art. Around 1995, the Hubertus and Renate Wald collection was almost complete. He and his wife had purchased paintings, antiquities and antiques, amassing a collection that was breathtaking both in its depth and its scope, as well as its quality. The proceeds from the auction will be used to enlarge the assets of his Foundation. This means that more funds will serve its exclusively charitable purposes: treatment in Hamburg's hospitals and the continued enrichment of Hamburg's cultural life. Dr. Günter Hess Chairman of The Hubertus Wald Foundation Hamburg, October 2011 PROPERTY FROM THE HUBERTUS WALD CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
Pietro di Giovanni d'Ambrogio (Siena 1410-1449)

The Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist, Lucy, Catherine of Alexandria and Paul, and two angels, with The Crucifixion above

Details
Pietro di Giovanni d'Ambrogio (Siena 1410-1449)
The Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist, Lucy, Catherine of Alexandria and Paul, and two angels, with The Crucifixion above
on gold ground panel, shaped top, in an integral frame
23¾ x 11 1/8 in. (60.3 x 28.3 cm.)
the reverse painted with trompe-l'oeil architectural detailing
Provenance
Sterbini, Rome.
with Bottenweiser, Berlin, 1929, as 'Sassetta'.
with Van Diemen, Berlin, 1930, as 'Sassetta'.
with Jacques Goudstikker, Amsterdam, on consignment prior to July 1940, as 'Sassetta'.
with the art trade, Paris, before 1949, as 'Sassetta'.
with Galerie Gebhardt Alte Kunst, Munich, by May 1966.
Literature
C. Brandi, Quattrocentisti senesi, Milan, 1949, note 104, as 'Ambrosi' (i.e. Pietro di Giovanni d'Ambrogio).
M. Gregori, 'Un'opera giovanile di Pietro di Giovanni d'Ambrosio', Paragone, VII, no. 75, March 1956, pp. 48-9, pl. 31, as an early work by Pietro di Giovanni.
C. Volpi, 'Ancora su Pietro di Giovanni d'Ambrogio', Paragone, XIV, no. 165, September 1963, p. 39.
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools, London, 1968, I, p. 5 and II, pl. 562.
M. Boskovits, in Dizionario enciclopedico Bolaffi dei pittori e degli incisori italiani, IX, Turin, 1975, p. 64.
Die Sammlung Hubertus und Renate Wald, Hamburg, Hamburg, 1998, p. 150.
M.G. Fattorini, in Da Jacopo della Quercia a Donatello: Le arti a Siena nel primo Rinascimento, exhibition catalogue, Siena, Santa Maria della Scala, 2010, p. 248, under no. C.26.

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Georgina Wilsenach
Georgina Wilsenach

Lot Essay

This panel, which must have been the central element of a portable triptych, has been recognised since 1949 as by Pietro di Giovanni d'Ambrogio. Pietro di Giovanni was the closest associate of Sassetta, the greatest painter of quattrocento Siena, and evolved a personal style that anticipated in a number of respects the taste of other Sienese artists who emerged in the 1440s and the ensuing decade.

The panel is most directly comparable with the central element of the portable triptych by Pietro di Giovanni d'Ambrogio now in the Salini collection in the Castello di Gallico, near Siena (exhibited at Siena, 2010, op. cit., no. C.26), although it is slightly larger than that panel, which, including the frame element, is 50 centimetres high. The two are similar in layout -- with the Crucifixion in the pinnacle above the arched main compartment -- in the structure of the compositions, in tonality and in the character of the types, and identical in the halo pattern of the saints. But Pietro was clearly determined to introduce subtle variations between the two. In the Salini picture, the enthroned Virgin sits on an altar above a step, which, as here, echoes that of the frontal step which established the compositional plane of the picture: She looks to the left, but the Child pulls forward to the right, His head and left arm corresponding closely with those in this panel. The saints are in the same positions as in this panel, Saints John the Baptist and Bartholomew in front, Saint Anthony Abbot and the as yet uncanonised Bernardino behind, their gaze directed in the same way. But the angels, who hold the cloth of honour behind the throne and support the Virgin's crown, have white drapery on their arms and look at one another in the Salini picture. In the Crucifixion at Gallico, the lower part of Christ's body hangs to the right, rather than to the left, the grieving Virgin clasps her hands about her knees, and is balanced by the Magdalene rather than Saint John the Evangelist. Nor do the similarities end here. Close parallels for the heads of the female saints can be cited in, for example, that of the Virgin Annunciate on the right wing of the Salini triptych and in the full-length saints of the left wing. The relationship of the two pictures indeed shows how subtly the artist could arrange and rearrange components within what is a very effective compositional structure. The Salini triptych is datable between 1444, the year of Bernardino's beatification, and the artist's death in 1449, and this panel must be closely coeval with this, and may well indeed have been executed almost simultaneously.

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