Alvaro Pirez de Evora, the greatest Portuguese master of the International Gothic and arguably the only major Portuguese painter before Nuño Gonzálves, spent his documented working life in what is now Tuscany, and seems to have been based in Pisa, which maintained significant trading links with other European centres. Pirez was influenced by earlier Pisan artists, and also by the Florentine Gherardo Starnina, who had been active for many years in Valencia before his return to Italy.
The fluid handling of the drapery in the present lot can be compared to that in the Saints Stephen and Vincent (Collezioni Comunali d'Arte, Bologna), and therefore suggests a dating around 1425-30. The softer drawing of the figures is also typical of late works by the artist.
We are grateful to Dr. Gaudenz Freuler and to Mr. Everett Fahy for confirming the attribution to Alvaro Pirez de Evora on the basis of a color transparency (written communication, 30 November 2004 and verbal communication, 1 December 2004, respectively).