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Bernardo Daddi (active c. 1318-1348)
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Bernardo Daddi (active c. 1318-1348)

The Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints Francis and Mary Magdalen and a female donor

Details
Bernardo Daddi (active c. 1318-1348)
The Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints Francis and Mary Magdalen and a female donor
tempera and gold leaf on panel
54 x 29½ in. (137 x 75 cm.)
inscribed 'MARIA VIRGO INTER' (upper centre, within the Virgin Mary's halo)
Provenance
Purchased, probably in Paris, by Siegfried Wedells (1848-1919), Hamburg, by whom bequeathed in 1921 to
Hamburg, Kunsthalle, by whom sold, circa 1960.
Literature
V. Dirksen, 'Die Sammlung Wedells in Hamburg', Kunstchronik und Kunstmarkt, XXXIII, 1922, p. 757, as Circle of Bernardo Daddi.
A. Rohde, 'Die Galerie Wedells in Hamburg', Der Cicerone, XIV, no. 12, 1922, p. 506.
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Oxford, 1932, p. 166, as Daddi.
R. Van Marle, 'La Collezione del Haus Wedells di Amburgo', Dedalo, XIII, 1933, p. 244, illustrated pp. 245 and 246 (detail of donor), as Daddi.
R. Offner, A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting, III, IV, Bernardo Daddi, His Shop and Following, New York, 1934, pp. 121-2, 133, pls. XLVIII, XLVIII1 (detail of Madonna and Child), XLVIII2 (detail of Mary Magdalen), XLVIII3 (detail of donor), as close following of Daddi.
B. Berenson, Pitture italiane del rinascimento, Milan, 1936, p. 142, as Daddi.
D.C. Shorr, The Christ Child in devotional images in Italy during the XIV century, New York, 1954, pp. 183-4, illustrated, as follower of Daddi.
B. Berenson, Italian pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School, London and New York, 1963, I, p. 54, as Daddi.
B. Klesse, Seidenstoffe in der italienischen Malerei des 14. Jahrhunderts, Bern, 1967, p. 192, no. 51d, as follower of Daddi.
M. Boskovits, in R. Offner, A critical and historical corpus of Florentine painting, III, IX, The painters of the miniaturist tendency, Florence, 1984, p. 32, note 98, as Daddi.
R. Offner, A critical and historical corpus of Florentine painting, III, III, The works of Bernardo Daddi (revised ed. by M. Boskovits), Florence, 1989, pp. 46 and 85, note 56, as close following of Daddi.
M. Boskovits, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection: Early Italian Painting, 1290-1470, London, 1990, p. 64, note 1.
R. Offner, A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting, III, IV, Bernardo Daddi, His Shop and Following (revised ed. by M. Boskovits), Florence, 1991, pp. 23, 363-4, pls. XLVIII (prior to cleaning), XLVIII (detail of donors) (recording Klara Steinweg's manuscript opinion that painting, following its cleaning, is by Daddi himself), p. 389 (with Offner's attribution to the close following of Daddi), pp. 508, 511 (attributed by Boskovits to Daddi himself).
Exhibited
Hamburg, Kunsthalle, exhibition of Wedells collection, 1935.
Special Notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Miriam Winson-Alio
Miriam Winson-Alio

Lot Essay

Bernardo Daddi was with Taddeo Gaddi one of the two outstanding Florentine painters of the generation that succeeded Giotto's. Giotto himself was the formative influence of his early style, but Daddi reacted to other artists, including the Saint Cecilia Master, and had a distinct personality of his own, a sense of rhythm, beautifully expressed in this panel by the upturned faces of the two saints, and a languorous, indeed poetic, taste, exemplified here by the type of the Madonna herself. Daddi is particularly associated with the production of small portable triptychs, but was also responsible for a number of major commissions for prominent churches, including Santa Croce and the Cathedral. This panel was probably the central element of a tabernacle, very probably in a Franciscan church.

Offner, who was very restrictive in attribution of pictures to Daddi, considered this to be from the artist's close following. But Berenson consistently recognized that it is by Daddi himself, and this view was accepted by van Marle, by Roberto Longhi (in a letter of 11 April 1961 referred to by Boskovits in the 1991 edition of Offner), by Klara Steinweg (referred to in the same), and most recently by Miklos Boskovits in his publications of 1984, 1990 and 1991. Offner proposed a date of about 1340, and Boskovits observes that the upward looking pose of Saint Francis is similar to that of the saint on the lateral panel of the Prato pentatych, which he dates to the mid-1330s and in the small portable triptych at Pittsburgh (Offner, 1991, pls. XV and XXIX): in the former it might be argued that the saint's gaze is directed above the Madonna and Child, whereas in this panel it is clearly directed at the Child. Daddi's types were consistent, but are subtly varied between related compositions, as is indeed the case with this panel, in which the heads of both the Madonna and the Child are very close in detail to those of the beautiful small Madonna and Child in the Berenson collection at I Tatti (Offner, 1989, pl. XIII, in which the Madonna's hands are also similar but differently disposed) and in the main panel of the San Pancrazio altarpiece (Florence, Uffizi, op. cit., pl. XIV).

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