6 July 2011
The Master of Charles III of Durazzo (Florentine, late 14th Century)
A painted cassone
tempera on panel, shaped, set into an Italian repoussé-decorated metal-mounted, gilt pastiglia and polychrome-painted cassone, decorated overall with scrolling foliage and geometric patterns, the domed lid above a rectangular corpus, the front decorated with a ribbon border cartouche flanked by the arms of Florence and Genoa, and the sides with roundels above a lambrequined plinth
the painted cartouche 13½ x 45¼ in. (34.3 x 114.8 cm.); the cassone overall 26 x 57 x 22½ in. (66.1 x 144.8 x 57.2 cm.)
Salzer, Vienna, 1927.
with A.S. Drey; forced sale, Paul Graupe, Munich, 17-18 June 1936, lot 222, as 'Florenz, frhes 15. Jahrh.', with a 'Schriftliches Gutachten von Prof. Schubring'.
with Walter Bornheim, Munich, until 1944, when acquired from him by a
Private European collector, and by descent.
Restituted to the heirs of A.S. Drey, April 2011.
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C.E. Rava, Mobili d'ogni Tempo, Milan, 1947, p. 2.
J. Miziolek, Soggetti classici sui cassoni fiorentini alla vigilia del Rinascimento, Warsaw, 1996, p.47, pl. 28, as by 'The Master of Carlo III di Durazzo'.
We are grateful to both Everett Fahy and Andrea de Marchi for independently confirming the attribution, and to Lorenzo Sbaraglio providing for the literary references listed above. The group of works given to this Master includes those previously assigned by Miklós Boskovits and Fahy to The Master of Cracow. Fahy has tentatively suggested that this Master may be identified as the documented personality, Francesco di Michele. Datable to between 1400 and 1420, this cassone belongs to the artists later phase; his earlier work reveals a strong dependence on Agnolo Gaddi.
The decoration in pastiglia and applied metal, which complements the painted section, is, as Lorenzo Sbaraglio points out, very similar to that of the cassone with Boccaccios history of Saladino and Torello in the Bargello, Florence.
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