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The Master of the Ashmolean Predella (active Florence, second half of the 14th Century)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN COLLECTOR (LOTS 1-6)
The Master of the Ashmolean Predella (active Florence, second half of the 14th Century)

The Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints John the Baptist, Peter, Lawrence, Zenobius, Catherine of Alexandria, Lucy, Anthony Abbot and Eustace, with angels

Details
The Master of the Ashmolean Predella (active Florence, second half of the 14th Century)
The Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints John the Baptist, Peter, Lawrence, Zenobius, Catherine of Alexandria, Lucy, Anthony Abbot and Eustace, with angels
on gold ground panel, arched top, in an engaged frame
the reverse retaining sections of the original gesso
32 x 29¾ in. (81.3 x 50.1 cm.)
Provenance
Del Drago collection, Rome (according to the Federico Zeri database).
Anonymous sale [The Property of a Gentleman]; Christie's, London, 2 July 1976, lot 64 (£11,000).
Anonymous sale [The Property of a Gentleman]; Christie's, London, 8 July 1977, lot 28 (£15,000).
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 20 April 1988, lot 6, as 'Studio of Jacopo di Cione' (£46,200).
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Lot Essay

A panel painter as well as manuscript illuminator, the anonymous artist known as The Master of the Ashmolean Predella was named for a panel depicting the Birth of the Virgin at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Described by Laurence Kanter as ‘an intriguing, if elusive artist’, the Master worked alongside Andrea di Cione, called Orcagna – collaborating on the great Saint Matthew triptych of 1367-8 now in the Uffzi, Florence – and seems to have remained in the workshop after Orcagna’s brother, Jacopo di Cione, inherited it in 1368 (L. Kanter in Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence, 1300-1450, New York, 1994, p. 193). Eventually he became an independent master in his own right; his later works, such as the triptych in the Pinacoteca Vaticana, datable to circa 1390, reveal a markedly looser handling of paint. Kanter has also identified The Master of the Ashmolean Predella as the author of an exquisite manuscript illustration of Christ and the Apostles in an Initial E in the British Library, London (Add. MS 38,890). This illumination was once part of an Antiphonary containing the Commons of Saints at the Camaldolese Monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Florence, the surviving folios of which are now housed in the Biblioteca Laurenziana, Florence. Several other illuminations from this Antiphonary, production of which began in 1385, have also been attributed to The Master by Boskovits and Kanter.

According to a note in the Federico Zeri archive, the present panel was once in the Del Drago collection, Rome, much of which is now housed in the Roman National Museum in Palazzo Altemps, just north of the Piazza Navona.

We are grateful to Professor Laurence Kanter, who has confirmed the attribution, on the basis of photographs.

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