Sano di Pietro (Siena 1405-1481)
Sano di Pietro (Siena 1405-1481)

The Madonna and Child

Sano di Pietro (Siena 1405-1481)
The Madonna and Child
inscribed 'AVE·GRATIA·..A·dOM' (on the Madonna's halo)
on gold ground panel
16 ¼ x 11 5/8 in. (41.2 x 29.6 cm.)
George B. Simpson, Seafield, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, 1885.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London,16 November 1955, lot 132 (£1,800to the following),
with Agnew’s, London, where acquired by
Captain and Mrs. V. Bulkeley-Johnson(the Mount Trust Collection), by 1956, until
The Mount Trust Collection; Christie’s, London,1 December 1978, lot 110.
with Cramer, 31st Art Fair, Prinsenhof Museum, Delft, 1979.
Anonymous sale; Christie’s, London, 10 July 1998, lot 50, when acquired by the present owner.
D. Sutton, ‘The Mount Trust Collection’,The Connoisseur, October 1960, p. 103, fig. 3.
B. Nicolson, ‘The Early Renaissance in Tuscany’,The Burlington Magazine, CVII, March 1965, p. 109.
L. Vertova, ‘Unpublished Paintings by Liberale da Verona’, The Burlington Magazine, CVII, March 1965, p. 134-5, fig. 49, as ‘datable 1450-5’.
B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Central Italian and North Italian Schools, London, 1968, I, p. 376.
London, Wildenstein, The Art of Painting in Florence and Siena from 1250-1500, 24 February-10 April 1965, no. 96.

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Abbie Barker
Abbie Barker

Lot Essay

Ansano di Pietro di Mencio, known as Sano di Pietro, was the most consistently productive Sienese master of the mid-fifteenth century. While less is known about his early years, his work is well documented from 1444 onwards. He executed numerous commissions in and around Siena, his compositions revealing the influence of other masters of the Sienese school, in particular Sassetta and Domenico di Bartolo.

The intimate relationship between the Madonna and Child in this panel owes much to earlier precedent and is paralleled in other devotional panels by the artist, including, for example, the Madonna and Child with Saints Jerome and Bernardino and four Angels (see Berenson, op. cit., II, pl. 581), in which the Child’s feet are positioned in a slightly different manner, his right hand not shown and that of the Madonna moved. Denys Sutton’s dating of the present picture to after 1450 is followed in the 1965 London catalogue by St. John Gore, who compares the work with the Madonna of the same format, still in its original frame, in the Lehman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (J. Pope Hennessy, The Robert Lehman Collection, I, Italian Paintings, New York and Princeton, 1987, no. 63); the present panel, though, is the finer in quality.

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