Lot No. 3


Alesso di Benozzo Gozzoli, formerly known as the Maestro Esiguo or Alunno di Benozzo


(Florence 1473–1528)
Madonna and Child surrounded by angels,
tempera and gold on panel, 95 x 60 cm, framed

The present small altarpiece was commissioned for private devotion, with its original tabernacle decorated with a band depicting suns on a blue background.

The painting, which is of high quality and precisely painted, is typical of the work of an artist identified in 1927 by Roberto Longhi as ‘Maestro Esiguo’ (see R. Longhi, Vita Artistica, II, (1927), pp. 65ss) and by Bernard Berenson with the pseudonym ‘Alunno di Benozzo’ (see B. Berensoin, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Oxford 1932, p. 5; ID., Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Florentine School, London 1963, vol. I, pp. 2-3).
He was later identified by Anna Padoa Rizzo (see A. Padoa Rizzo, Antichità Viva, XIX, 3 (1980), pp. 14-19: ID., Arte e Committenza a Pistoia alla fine del XV Secolo. Benozzo Gozzoli e i figli Francesco e Alesso. Nuove Ricerche, Pistoia 1989, pp. 22-25) and Diane Cole Ahl (D. Cole Ahl, Benozzo Gozzoli, New Haven and London 1996, pp. 196, 310n) as Alesso di Benozzo, the youngest son of Benozzo Gozzoli. He initially worked with his father and later worked as an independent master in Tuscany and Umbria.

The present unusual painting probably dates back to the painter’s earlier period, maybe even before 1490 due to his adherence to Benozzo’s later style. This later style is interpreted with expressive characteristics typical of the artist, which are highly visible in the Angels as well as in works such as the Nativity in the Musèe des Beaux Arts di Rouen, the Deposition of Christ in the Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa (Oklahoma) Kress Collection, the Adoration of the Magi in the Gemaeldegalerie in Dresden or the Deposition found in Paul Delaroff’s Paris collection first and in the New York collection of the soprano Anna Moffo later (Sotheby’s, New York, 22-23 January 1976, lot 59).

The figure of Jesus, whose face shows visible repentance, calls to mind the later work of Gozzoli such as the Madonna in Pieve di Calci near Pisa, while the Madonna’s bust, depicted in a three-quarter pose, is particularly elegant and re-elaborates a scheme derived from Filippo Lippi and also used by a young Botticelli. The meticulous rendition of the details and the gold in the clothing and the halos of the Madonna and Child betrays a sophisticated artistic approach.

The Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi (Inv. 1868–125 E) in Florence holds, among the drawings attributed to Benozzo’s disciple (B. Berenson, I disegni di Alunno di Benozzo, in: Bollettino d’Arte, VII, 1932, p. 295, fig. 11), a sheet with a study for Mary’s head and two for the Child’s head, which appears to be a preparatory study for this painting.

25.04.2017 - 18:00

Realized price: **
EUR 33,020.-
Estimate:
EUR 40,000.- to EUR 60,000.-

Alesso di Benozzo Gozzoli, formerly known as the Maestro Esiguo or Alunno di Benozzo


(Florence 1473–1528)
Madonna and Child surrounded by angels,
tempera and gold on panel, 95 x 60 cm, framed

The present small altarpiece was commissioned for private devotion, with its original tabernacle decorated with a band depicting suns on a blue background.

The painting, which is of high quality and precisely painted, is typical of the work of an artist identified in 1927 by Roberto Longhi as ‘Maestro Esiguo’ (see R. Longhi, Vita Artistica, II, (1927), pp. 65ss) and by Bernard Berenson with the pseudonym ‘Alunno di Benozzo’ (see B. Berensoin, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance, Oxford 1932, p. 5; ID., Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Florentine School, London 1963, vol. I, pp. 2-3).
He was later identified by Anna Padoa Rizzo (see A. Padoa Rizzo, Antichità Viva, XIX, 3 (1980), pp. 14-19: ID., Arte e Committenza a Pistoia alla fine del XV Secolo. Benozzo Gozzoli e i figli Francesco e Alesso. Nuove Ricerche, Pistoia 1989, pp. 22-25) and Diane Cole Ahl (D. Cole Ahl, Benozzo Gozzoli, New Haven and London 1996, pp. 196, 310n) as Alesso di Benozzo, the youngest son of Benozzo Gozzoli. He initially worked with his father and later worked as an independent master in Tuscany and Umbria.

The present unusual painting probably dates back to the painter’s earlier period, maybe even before 1490 due to his adherence to Benozzo’s later style. This later style is interpreted with expressive characteristics typical of the artist, which are highly visible in the Angels as well as in works such as the Nativity in the Musèe des Beaux Arts di Rouen, the Deposition of Christ in the Philbrook Art Museum in Tulsa (Oklahoma) Kress Collection, the Adoration of the Magi in the Gemaeldegalerie in Dresden or the Deposition found in Paul Delaroff’s Paris collection first and in the New York collection of the soprano Anna Moffo later (Sotheby’s, New York, 22-23 January 1976, lot 59).

The figure of Jesus, whose face shows visible repentance, calls to mind the later work of Gozzoli such as the Madonna in Pieve di Calci near Pisa, while the Madonna’s bust, depicted in a three-quarter pose, is particularly elegant and re-elaborates a scheme derived from Filippo Lippi and also used by a young Botticelli. The meticulous rendition of the details and the gold in the clothing and the halos of the Madonna and Child betrays a sophisticated artistic approach.

The Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi (Inv. 1868–125 E) in Florence holds, among the drawings attributed to Benozzo’s disciple (B. Berenson, I disegni di Alunno di Benozzo, in: Bollettino d’Arte, VII, 1932, p. 295, fig. 11), a sheet with a study for Mary’s head and two for the Child’s head, which appears to be a preparatory study for this painting.


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Auction: Old Master Paintings
Date: 25.04.2017 - 18:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 15.04. - 25.04.2017


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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