2 June 2004
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, historiated initial R, cutting from an ILLUMINATED CHOIRBOOK ON VELLUM
The Virgin dressed in a dark blue mantle and lilac robe stands in front of a fictive gold background within the staves of a foliate initial of orange, blue, dull green and pink set against a ground of dark blue framed with grey and lemon yellow fillets (rubbed areas with loss of pigment on left edge, one extending into initial stave, creases in lower right corner).
The broad handling of the figure, the decorative forms and simplified contours of this demure Virgin are characteristic of the Sienese illuminator Niccolò di Ser Sozzo. A number of manuscripts, cuttings and paintings have been attributed to him on the basis of his signed miniature of the Assumption of the Virgin (inserted in Caleffo dell' Assunta, Archivio di Stato, Siena). He was one of the leading illuminators of his day and was active from the 1340s until his death in 1363. The palette and format of the present cutting is particularly close to the Trinity from a Gradual in Philadelphia (Free Library, Lewis E M 25.5): Leaves of Gold, Manuscript Illumination from Philadelphia Collections, ed. J.R. Tanis (2001), no 59.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium
International Head of Watches John Reardon on why devotees of Patek Philippe never settle for less than the best
Ahead of Christie's inaugural European Paintings auction on 31 October, Arne Everwijn discusses Courbet’s radical nudes