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Attributed to manner of Niccolo di Tomasso (Italian (Florentine) artist, active c.1313 - 1376), Triptych: Virgin and Child with Saints

Core Record

Title Triptych: Virgin and Child with Saints
Collection Astley Cheetham Art Gallery, Stalybridge
Artist Attributed to manner of Niccolo di Tomasso (Italian (Florentine) artist, active c.1313 - 1376)
Attributed to studio of Andrea da Firenze (Italian painter, active 1346, died 1379)
Attributed to Italian (Florentine) School
Previously attributed to Buffalmacco (Italian painter, active ca. 1314-ca. 1351)
Date Earliest possibly about 1360
Date Latest possibly about 1380
Description The central panel depicts the Madonna and Child enthroned and accompanied by St Paul, St Peter, St Catherine of Alexandria and St Anthony Abbot. The upper part of the left and right shutter show the Annunciation; the lower left shutter shows St John the Baptist, St Lucy(?) and St Onophrius facing the Crucifixion on the lower right panel. The composition of the work in several distinct sections is very close to an altarpiece by Andrea Bonaiuti (active 1346-1377). The postures and positioning of the Annunciate Virgin and the angel in the top of the wings are identical, as is the positioning of Mary Magdalene with her arms around the base of the cross in the Crucifixion. The tooling is also very similar with the same scalloped shaped canopy above the Virgin and Child and the continuation of the tooling onto the clothing of the figures. The main difference being that instead of the three saints depicted on the bottom of the left panel in the Staylebridge work, there is a Nativity scene on the Bonaiuti painting and the missing saints are instead included on the main panel. Given the obvious similarity of the content, composition and punch detailing of both works it seems reasonable to presume that they were produced in the same workshop, or at the very least one was produced with certain knowledge of the other. However it must be noted that these small panels were mass-produced in workshops for private devotional purposes and attributions to specific artists and even specific workshops are therefore very difficult. Christoher baker has written, 'Since its attribution to the Florentine school, stylistic links have been drawn with Ottaviano Nelli or Niccolo di Tomasso. Tomasso was a Florentine artist who was active between c.1313 and 1376, the distinctive oval faces of his figures as they appear in the Baltimore triptych and the Assisi panel are quite similar to this work. Therefore an attribution to a late 14th century Florentine artist working in the style of Tomasso seems reasonable.'
Current Accession Number ASTAC:1932.42
Former Accession Number 1/14/2
Subject religion (Virgin and Child with saints)
Measurements 57 x 48 cm (estimate)
Material tempera on panel
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by J. F. Cheetham 1932.
Principal Exhibitions Don't Trust the Label, Arts Council, 1986-7; Seeing is Deceiving, Whitworth Art Gallery, 1981; Presents from the Past, Bolton, Oldham and Stockport Art Galleries, 1978; Medieval and Early Renaissance Treasures in the North West, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 1976;
Notes Dimensions: central panel 43.2 x 20.1cm, left wing 43.2 x 12cm, right wing 13.2 x 11.5cm. Research notes by Christopher Baker, 1989, held by Astley Cheetham Art Gallery: 'The cornice over the central panel and its base are nineteenth century additions. Most of the features of the figures have been over-painted so as to make them appear more three-dimensional. Listed as being by Buffalmacco in the gallery records up until 1975. Since its attribution to the Florentine school, stylistic links have been drawn with Ottaviano Nelli or Niccolo di Tomasso. Tomasso was a Florentine artist who was active between c.1313 and 1376, the distinctive oval faces of his figures as they appear in the Baltimore triptych and the Assisi panel are quite similar to this work. Therefore an attribution to a late 14th century Florentine artist working in the style of Tomasso seems reasonable'. For an image of Andrea Bonaiuti's Triptych (photographed by Acquavella Galleries, New York in 1967 - location now unknown), see Tripps, Johannes. Tendencies of Gothic in Florence: Andrea Bonaiuti, University of Florence, 1996, p.173.
Rights Owner Astley Cheetham Art Gallery
Author Lisa Howard
 

 

 

 

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