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Čís. položky 11


Associate* of Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael


(Urbino 1483–1520 Rome)
Madonna and Child,
oil on panel, tondo, diameter 87.5 cm, framed

*Associate means: a work created within the artist’s near sphere of influence.

Provenance:
Private European collection;
where acquired by the present owner circa 2000

This Madonna and Child is a painting of quality and during the process of research and technical analysis it has been confirmed as a work of great interest. It has been suggested that this tondo should be dated to circa 1505 and it is regarded as a high-quality version of a Raphael composition. Whether or not it was executed under Raphael’s supervision remains an open question.

In fact, the composition of the present painting closely resembles Raphael’s early work and in particular it can be compared to the so-called Small Cowper Madonna in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, which is also dated to circa 1505 (see fig. 1).

Very little is known of Raphael’s early working practice, and attributions for many of his works from this period are the subject of scholarly debate. At present a definitive attribution for this painting remains uncertain and subjective as attributions of undocumented works can only be based on opinions, which might be subject to change in the future, as scholarship progresses.

It is very likely that the present painting was either made from a Raphael cartoon, which the painter might have borrowed, or from tracing the finished Raphael picture, but creating the composition in the form of a tondo. The artist of the present painting would have had access to the designs and pictures of Raphael, therefore the artist would have been working in his orbit.

The confidence of the draftsmanship and the refinement of technique displayed in the present work can be compared to this early style of Raphael’s painting. Several notable details in the treatment of the subject are also highly reminiscent of his working practice. Technical analysis also suggests a very close affinity to Raphael’s autograph body of works. The quality of execution is also evidenced by the images revealed by infrared reflectography, which clearly show the underdrawing on the prepared surface of the picture.

The Madonna and Child are placed on a wooden ledge before a landscape according to the canon established by Perugino and brought to perfection by Raphael. The Madonna is slightly bent forwards, supporting the standing Christ Child with her knees. The Child’s left foot rests softly on his mother’s right hand, his hands on her chest and neck. As in other early paintings by Raphael, following Perugino, Mary is wearing a red robe with a round neckline, pulled in at the waist, with a transparent veil that goes from the back of her head around her body. The bright azure cloak, the inside of which is coloured in a green-ochre tone, seems to have slipped off her shoulders. In the background, behind a backrest covered with a dark cloth, a hilly landscape opens out, punctuated by a path which leads through a forest on the right and rocky mountains with a single tree and woods on the left.

With her elegant countenance the Madonna joins the Renaissance and Raphael canon of beauty: white skin with rosy cheeks, thin, arched eyebrows over dark almond-shaped eyes, an elongated nose with a tiny tip and rosy lips with dot shaped dimples.

The Child’s pose with his left arm resting against his mother and interrupting the linear curve of her robe’s neckline is reminiscent of that of the Child in the Northbrook Madonna (Worcester Museum of Art, Massachusetts, inv. no. 1940.39), circa 1505, which was long believed to be an autograph work by Raphael, but is still the subject of scholarly debate. Now it is generally thought that the artist designed the composition and that he may have supervised its execution. This would have been by a collaborator or associate, or, at least, an artist in Raphael’s circle.

Raphael did not keep studio assistants during the period of his activity in Umbria, where he was working as an independent artist, or during his Florentine period, but he had documented associations with his Umbrian contemporaries, such as Berto di Giovanni and Domenico Alfani, both of whom made use of his drawings. The present painting belongs in this context, created by an artist very close to Raphael.

Technical report by Gianluca Poldi:

An extremely thin under drawing can be seen by IRR around some details of the figures, as in the Madonna’s face (nose, mouth, chin) and in the hands, or around the Child’s right profile.

No traces of transfer, such as pouncing, can be seen, nor changes, except minimal ones. Among them, the tips of the fingers of the right hand of the Madonna are elongated, intended to finishing above the blue mantle, while originally, they were shorter, the hand more closed. And the simple but precious black cloth covering the balustrade that separates the sacred figures from the background, painted with black pigment, shows the addition of some folds above the already painted landscape, on the right.

XRF and reflectance spectroscopy (vis-RS) performed on more than 20 points allow identification of most of the pigments used and some peculiarities. The work is painted on a white ground, containing both calcium and strontium, probably gesso. The only blue used is azurite, found in all the blue areas and characterized by barite impurities; this blue was mixed with a madder red lake in the purple headgear of the Virgin. The same lake (detected thanks to the vis-RS absorption bands at 510 and 550 nm), scarcely ever found in paintings before 1500-1510, and not much used after, constitutes the Woman’s robe and can be found in her lips, instead of the most common carmine-type red lake. Manganese and silicon signals in the red lake containing areas suggest glass particles were used there, in order to facilitate drying and to give body and roughness to the surface.

This practice was well known by Raphael and his workshop, as well as by his father and Perugino, as recent studies established.

Flesh tones are generally obtained with a mixture of lead white, ochre/earths and vermillion. The greens contain verdigris, sometimes brighten up with lead-tin yellow as in some vegetation and in the lights of the lapel of the Virgin’s cloak. Ochre and earths characterise the brown hues of the landscape, with some finishing of verdigris in some areas.

The black cloth in the background contains phosphorus, indicating bone black was used and preferred to vine black and lamp black. The sober fineness with which the painting is carried out makes the quality of the technique used evident.

Technique and materials are absolutely coherent with early 16th century practice and Raphael’s circle.

Expert: Mark MacDonnell Mark MacDonnell
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com

10.11.2021 - 16:00

Odhadní cena:
EUR 200.000,- do EUR 300.000,-

Associate* of Raffaello Sanzio, called Raphael


(Urbino 1483–1520 Rome)
Madonna and Child,
oil on panel, tondo, diameter 87.5 cm, framed

*Associate means: a work created within the artist’s near sphere of influence.

Provenance:
Private European collection;
where acquired by the present owner circa 2000

This Madonna and Child is a painting of quality and during the process of research and technical analysis it has been confirmed as a work of great interest. It has been suggested that this tondo should be dated to circa 1505 and it is regarded as a high-quality version of a Raphael composition. Whether or not it was executed under Raphael’s supervision remains an open question.

In fact, the composition of the present painting closely resembles Raphael’s early work and in particular it can be compared to the so-called Small Cowper Madonna in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, which is also dated to circa 1505 (see fig. 1).

Very little is known of Raphael’s early working practice, and attributions for many of his works from this period are the subject of scholarly debate. At present a definitive attribution for this painting remains uncertain and subjective as attributions of undocumented works can only be based on opinions, which might be subject to change in the future, as scholarship progresses.

It is very likely that the present painting was either made from a Raphael cartoon, which the painter might have borrowed, or from tracing the finished Raphael picture, but creating the composition in the form of a tondo. The artist of the present painting would have had access to the designs and pictures of Raphael, therefore the artist would have been working in his orbit.

The confidence of the draftsmanship and the refinement of technique displayed in the present work can be compared to this early style of Raphael’s painting. Several notable details in the treatment of the subject are also highly reminiscent of his working practice. Technical analysis also suggests a very close affinity to Raphael’s autograph body of works. The quality of execution is also evidenced by the images revealed by infrared reflectography, which clearly show the underdrawing on the prepared surface of the picture.

The Madonna and Child are placed on a wooden ledge before a landscape according to the canon established by Perugino and brought to perfection by Raphael. The Madonna is slightly bent forwards, supporting the standing Christ Child with her knees. The Child’s left foot rests softly on his mother’s right hand, his hands on her chest and neck. As in other early paintings by Raphael, following Perugino, Mary is wearing a red robe with a round neckline, pulled in at the waist, with a transparent veil that goes from the back of her head around her body. The bright azure cloak, the inside of which is coloured in a green-ochre tone, seems to have slipped off her shoulders. In the background, behind a backrest covered with a dark cloth, a hilly landscape opens out, punctuated by a path which leads through a forest on the right and rocky mountains with a single tree and woods on the left.

With her elegant countenance the Madonna joins the Renaissance and Raphael canon of beauty: white skin with rosy cheeks, thin, arched eyebrows over dark almond-shaped eyes, an elongated nose with a tiny tip and rosy lips with dot shaped dimples.

The Child’s pose with his left arm resting against his mother and interrupting the linear curve of her robe’s neckline is reminiscent of that of the Child in the Northbrook Madonna (Worcester Museum of Art, Massachusetts, inv. no. 1940.39), circa 1505, which was long believed to be an autograph work by Raphael, but is still the subject of scholarly debate. Now it is generally thought that the artist designed the composition and that he may have supervised its execution. This would have been by a collaborator or associate, or, at least, an artist in Raphael’s circle.

Raphael did not keep studio assistants during the period of his activity in Umbria, where he was working as an independent artist, or during his Florentine period, but he had documented associations with his Umbrian contemporaries, such as Berto di Giovanni and Domenico Alfani, both of whom made use of his drawings. The present painting belongs in this context, created by an artist very close to Raphael.

Technical report by Gianluca Poldi:

An extremely thin under drawing can be seen by IRR around some details of the figures, as in the Madonna’s face (nose, mouth, chin) and in the hands, or around the Child’s right profile.

No traces of transfer, such as pouncing, can be seen, nor changes, except minimal ones. Among them, the tips of the fingers of the right hand of the Madonna are elongated, intended to finishing above the blue mantle, while originally, they were shorter, the hand more closed. And the simple but precious black cloth covering the balustrade that separates the sacred figures from the background, painted with black pigment, shows the addition of some folds above the already painted landscape, on the right.

XRF and reflectance spectroscopy (vis-RS) performed on more than 20 points allow identification of most of the pigments used and some peculiarities. The work is painted on a white ground, containing both calcium and strontium, probably gesso. The only blue used is azurite, found in all the blue areas and characterized by barite impurities; this blue was mixed with a madder red lake in the purple headgear of the Virgin. The same lake (detected thanks to the vis-RS absorption bands at 510 and 550 nm), scarcely ever found in paintings before 1500-1510, and not much used after, constitutes the Woman’s robe and can be found in her lips, instead of the most common carmine-type red lake. Manganese and silicon signals in the red lake containing areas suggest glass particles were used there, in order to facilitate drying and to give body and roughness to the surface.

This practice was well known by Raphael and his workshop, as well as by his father and Perugino, as recent studies established.

Flesh tones are generally obtained with a mixture of lead white, ochre/earths and vermillion. The greens contain verdigris, sometimes brighten up with lead-tin yellow as in some vegetation and in the lights of the lapel of the Virgin’s cloak. Ochre and earths characterise the brown hues of the landscape, with some finishing of verdigris in some areas.

The black cloth in the background contains phosphorus, indicating bone black was used and preferred to vine black and lamp black. The sober fineness with which the painting is carried out makes the quality of the technique used evident.

Technique and materials are absolutely coherent with early 16th century practice and Raphael’s circle.

Expert: Mark MacDonnell Mark MacDonnell
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com


Horká linka kupujících Po-Pá: 9.00 - 18.00
old.masters@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 403
Aukce: Alte Meister I
Datum: 10.11.2021 - 16:00
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Prohlídka: 29.10. - 10.11.2021