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Attributed to Master of Castelsardo (Spanish painter, active ca. 1475-ca. 1525) , The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints

Core Record

Title The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to Master of Castelsardo (Spanish painter, active ca. 1475-ca. 1525)
Previously attributed to Bermejo, BartolomÚ (Spanish painter, ca.1436-ca.1498)
Date Earliest about 1475
Date Latest about 1500
Description Three incisions on each side of the panel indicate that this painting was almost certainly the centrepiece of a retable. It is one of a group of paintings attributed by Carlo Aru to the master he identified as the author of the retable in the parish church of Castelsardo in Spain. This panel is closely related to the Castelsardo retable in all the features of its composition, especially in the facial expressions of the Virgin and Child. As in the Castelsardo retable, we see angels playing instruments. From left to right, they play: a five-stringed lute, a shawm, and a hybrid bowed instrument with the body of a viol and the neck and frets of a lute.

The subject matter of the Virgin and Child enthroned and crowned by angels is rare for Sardinian panel painting. Aru recorded only this one and a retable in the parish church of Tuili, Sardinia.

Current Accession Number 1885P2593
Former Accession Number P.2593┤85
Subject religion (Virgin and Child, angels); figure (donors)
Measurements 165.1 x 96.5 cm cm (estimate)
Material egg tempera; gesso on canvas; panel
Acquisition Details Given by William Scott 1884.
Provenance Church of S. Rosalia, Calgari [;]; purchased in Sardinia by William Scott
Principal Exhibitions Loan Exhibition of Old Masters, Agnew's, 1924, cat. no. 3; Four Centuries of Spanish Painting, Bowes Museum, 1967, cat. no. 6.
Publications Chamberlain, A. B., 'A Picture in the Birmingham Art Gallery attributed to Bartolome Vermejo', Burlington Magazine, vol.15, 1909, p.50; King, C. G., Sardinian Painting, Longmans Green and Co., 1923, pp. 91, 118-120, 175; Aru, C., 'Il Maestro di Castelsardo', Annali della Facolta di Lettere e Filosofia della R. UniversitÓ di Calgari, vols. 1-2, 1926 - 1927, p. 27; Isherwood Kay, H., Spanish Art, Burlington Magazine Monograph, 1927, p. 31; van Marle, R., Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, XV, 1934, p. 464; Post, C. R., A History of Spanish Painting, VI, 1935, p. 84; Catalogue of Paintings in Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, 1960; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 96; Young, E., 'Medieval Painting in Spain: Progress and Problems', Apollo, vol. 79, 1964, p. 12; Young E., 'Four Centuries of Spanish Painting at the Bowes Museum', Connoisseu, vol. 166, 1967, p. 29; Serra, R., Pittura e Scultura dall'Eta Romanica alla Fine del 1500, 1990, pp. 124, 303.
Notes The lowermost part of the panel has been trimmed off, with the loss of part of the figures of the donors.

G. Spano (Guida della Citta e dintorni di Calgari, 1861, p. 253) recorded a painting over a doorway connecting the convent of the Minori Osservanti to the choir of S. Rosalia in Calgari representing a Madonna enthroned and crowned by angels and below two 'old' portraits, half length in adoration. William Scott purchased this work in Sardinia before 1884 and since the one described by Spano is no longer identifiable, it is assumed that they are one and the same (Post, 1935).

Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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