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Miklós Boskovits (1935–2011), “Jacopo di Cione/Madonna and Child with God the Father Blessing and Angels/c. 1370/1375,” Italian Thirteenth and Fourteenth Century Paintings, NGA Online Editions, (accessed October 25, 2016).


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Mar 21, 2016 Version

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The Virgin sits directly on the ground, eschewing the throne that is her right as Queen of Heaven. The Madonna of Humility, as this type of representation is called, appeared at the end of the Middle Ages as devotion to Mary took on a greater personal, human dimension. The infant’s reaching for her breast to nurse is a natural gesture—and layered with symbolism. At a time when all but the poorest families sent their children to wet nurses, his gesture reinforces the idea of Mary’s humility. Since milk was believed to be blood that had been converted in the mother’s body, the artist is evoking Jesus’s sacrifice and the sacrament of communion. And, because the Virgin was associated with the Church itself, the nursing allusion points further to the sustenance given to the faithful by the Church, emphasized by Mary’s large, sheltering body.

Jacopo di Cione (Florentine, c. 1340 - c. 1400?) made a strong effort to create depth and to replicate the physical world in many areas of this painting. The gradual darkening of the multicolored marble floor subtly accentuates its extension into depth, a spatial effect sometimes called “pseudo-perspective.” In particular, the foreshortened prayer book and the undulating lower hem of the Virgin’s mantle are painted with a deliberate illusionism: they project beyond the front edge of the floor, and seem to extend into the real space of the spectator.

The Madonna of Humility was an especially popular subject in 14th-century Florence, and this painting seems to have been a model for several others—which suggests that Jacopo’s painting originally occupied a prominent place in the city. Jacopo was the younger brother of two painters, Andrea (called Orcagna) and Nardo di Cione (Florentine, active from c. 1340; died 1365/1366), who were regarded by contemporaries as the best in Florence. The National Gallery of Art also owns a small, jewel-like altarpiece by Nardo, Madonna and Child, with Saints Peter and John the Evangelist, and Man of Sorrows [entire triptych], who named Jacopo as his heir.


The image of Mary seated on the ground (humus) accentuates the humility of the mother of Jesus, obedient ancilla Domini (Lk 1:38). The child’s gesture, both arms raised to his mother’s breast, alludes, in turn, to another theme: the suckling of her child, a very ancient aspect of Marian iconography. In the medieval interpretation, at a time when the Virgin was often considered the symbol of the Church, the motif also alluded to the spiritual nourishment offered by the Church to the faithful.[1] As is common in paintings of the period, the stars painted on Mary’s shoulders allude to the popular etymology of her name.[2] The composition—as it is developed here—presumably was based on a famous model that perhaps had originated in the shop of Bernardo Daddi (active by 1320, died probably 1348).[3] It enjoyed considerable success in Florentine painting of the second half of the fourteenth century and even later: numerous versions of the composition are known, many of which apparently derive directly from this image in the Gallery.[4] This painting, therefore, must have been prominently displayed in a church of the city, and familiar to devotees.

Osvald Sirén (1917) published the panel as an autograph work of Andrea Orcagna, with a dating around 1350.[5] The proposal was widely accepted in the art historical literature, though Richard Offner initially stated (see Lehman 1928), that it was the work of an assistant to the artist.[6] Bernard Berenson also at first proposed an attribution to Orcagna (Lehman 1928), but later (1931, 1932, 1936) suggested that the master executed the painting in collaboration with the youthful Jacopo di Cione, Orcagna’s brother.[7] The attribution to Jacopo himself was suggested by Hans Dietrich Gronau (1932, 1933); Frederick Antal (1948); Offner (in Shorr 1954 and Offner 1962), though the same scholar in 1965 and 1967 detected the collaboration of assistants in the work; Mirella Levi d’Ancona (1957); Klara Steinweg (1957–1959 and Offner and Steinweg 1969); Miklós Boskovits (1962, 1967, 1975); Alessandro Parronchi (1964); Luisa Marcucci (1965); Barbara Klesse (1967 with admission of workshop assistance); Carl Huter (1970); Marvin Eisenberg (1989); Barbara Deimling (1991, 2000, 2001, 2009); Paul Joannides (1993); Erling Skaug (1994); Mojmir S. Frinta (1998); Daniela Parenti (2001); Costanza Baldini (2003); Angelo Tartuferi (2003, 2004); Carl B. Strehlke (2004); and in Galleria dell’Accademia 2010.[8] However, the painting entered the Kress Collection (NGA 1945) as a joint work by Orcagna and Jacopo, probably at Berenson’s suggestion,[9] and this proposal met with wide support: it was accepted by Millard Meiss (1951); Berenson (1963); NGA (1965, 1968, 1985); Fern Rusk Shapley (1966, but in 1979 she attributed the painting to Jacopo alone, or to Jacopo and his workshop); Deborah Strom (1980); Perri Lee Roberts (1993); Marilena Tamassia (1995); and Gaudenz Freuler (1994, 1997).[10] More recently, the proposal by Pietro Toesca (1951) and Michel Laclotte (1956), who both considered the painting a product of the shop of Andrea Orcagna, has met with some favor, though modified by some to suggest it is substantially an autograph work by Orcagna (Laclotte and Mognetti 1976; Padoa Rizzo 1981; Kreytenberg 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000; Franci 2002; Laclotte and Moench 2005; Freuler 2006).[11]

As for the dating of our panel, its attribution, even partial, to Orcagna implies that it was completed by or not much later than 1368, the year of the artist’s death. Sirén (1917) dated the painting to c. 1350, and Raimond van Marle (1924) substantially accepted the proposal. Gronau (1932), though he too supported an attribution to Jacopo, dated the painting c. 1360–1370. Presumably Berenson (1936) had a similar dating in mind when classifying the panel as a youthful work by Jacopo. So did Meiss (1951), who defined the painting as “probably designed by Orcagna and partly executed by Jacopo di Cione.”[12] Levi d’Ancona (1957) suggested a date of 1360–1365 for the painting; the National Gallery of Art (1965) catalog, c. 1360. Steinweg (1957–1959), in turn, dated the panel to after the death of Orcagna in 1368, and Shapley (1966) to 1370.[13] Some scholars who have argued in favor of Jacopo’s authorship have suggested a dating as late as 1370–1380. Offner and Steinweg (1965) dated the panel c. 1380, followed by Klesse (1967) and Carl Huter (1970). Huter detected in the painting, unconvincingly, a reflection of the vision of the Nativity of Our Lord attributed to Saint Birgitta (Bridget) of Sweden during her journey to the Holy Land. Reconsidering her earlier opinion, Steinweg (Offner and Steinweg 1965) called the panel “Jacopo di Cione’s latest work.” She was followed by Shapley (1979), according to whom it was painted “perhaps as late as the 1380s,” while Boskovits (1975) proposed a date of c. 1370–1375.[14] The question is complicated by the problems relating to the reconstruction of the youthful activity of Jacopo di Cione,[15] and also by the poor condition of the former Stoclet Madonna, which, with its date of 1362, represents the only secure chronological point of reference for the artist’s initial phase.[16]

The hypothesis that the panel is an autograph work by Orcagna clearly would need to be verified by comparing it with authenticated works of this artist, or works generally recognized as by his hand, in particular the polyptych in the Strozzi Chapel in Santa Maria Novella, Florence, signed and dated 1357; the fresco of the Crucifixion in Santa Marta a Montughi (Florence);[17] the triptych in the Rijksmuseum at Amsterdam, dated 1350;[18] and the polyptych in the Galleria dell’Accademia,[19] Florence, probably dating to 1353. These paintings illustrate the main stages in Orcagna’s career in the years preceding the altarpiece of 1357. His last stylistic phase, in turn, is attested by the frescoes in the former refectory of Santo Spirito in Florence, now Fondazione Salvatore Romano,[20] and the Pentecost triptych in the Galleria dell’Accademia.[21] The presence of the master in the Fondazione Romano frescoes and the Accademia triptych is often judged partial, but even if the involvement of assistants can freely be admitted, especially in the fresco of large dimensions, Andrea’s direct intervention is undoubtedly revealed in various parts of the cycle.[22]

The stylistic features that distinguish the art of Orcagna in the last two decades of his life emerge from a comparative assessment of the above-cited paintings. They document his gradual transition from ample, softly modeled and majestic forms, defined by sharp contours, chiaroscuro effects of great delicacy, and a predilection for the abstract purity of large sweeping expanses of color, to a quite different manner. His late works are characterized indeed by a more marked, even at times brutal, accentuation of the three-dimensionality of bodies. Apparently, after the experience of realizing the sculptures for the tabernacle of Orsanmichele (1352–1360), Orcagna was intent on reproducing in his paintings a two-dimensional simulation of the effect of reliefs that stand out clearly, with smooth and lustrous surfaces, from a monochromatic, enamel-like ground. His narrative scenes are characterized by an extreme reduction to essentials in composition and by the predominant role of the human figure, whose plasticity is accentuated by being delineated, as if contre-jour, against the gold ground

The artist of the Madonna in the Gallery, however, does not seem to have aimed at results of this kind. The delicate passages of chiaroscuro confer softness on the flesh parts, while the gradual darkening of the varicolored marble floor on which Mary is sitting subtly accentuates its extension into depth.[23] In particular the foreshortened prayer book in the foreground and the undulating lower hem of the Virgin’s mantle are painted with a deliberate illusionistic effect: the latter in particular projects beyond the front edge of the marble floor that defines the frame of the image, and thus seems to extend into the real space of the spectator. Such illusionistic effects are, as far as his generally recognized works show, alien to Orcagna’s repertoire. In the Gallery panel, moreover, there is no trace of the metallic hardness and sheen of forms. Nor does the drapery show any of the angular folds with deep, sharp-edged undercutting that are usually found in Andrea’s paintings, especially in those dating to the seventh decade, such as the abovementioned triptych of the Pentecost or the triptych of Saint Matthew in the Uffizi, Florence, a work begun by the artist but completed by a workshop assistant after Orcagna’s death in 1368.[24] Only some secondary passages, such as the fluttering angels in the central panel of the Pentecost altarpiece (of which Jacopo’s partial execution has been proposed),[25] recall the more fluid drawing and more relaxed emotional climate of the Gallery panel.

It is in fact in the oeuvre of Jacopo di Cione that our panel finds its closest affinities, in particular with the polyptych painted between 1370 and 1371 for the Florentine church of San Pier Maggiore and with the Florentine Pala della Zecca (now in the Galleria dell’Accademia) for which Jacopo received final payment in 1373.[26] Close relatives of the face of Mary in the Gallery panel seem to me that of the crowned Virgin in the Pala della Zecca [fig. 1] and that of the Madonna of Humility, also now in the Galleria dell’Accademia.[27] The Christ child, in turn, is closely akin to counterparts both in the latter panel and in the versions of the Madonna and Child in the church of Santi Apostoli in Florence and in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.[28] The tiered angels in the upper part of our painting [fig. 2] are almost identical to those in the two gabled panels from the San Pier Maggiore altarpiece [fig. 3], now in the National Gallery in London. The analogies can also be extended to the blessing God the Father [fig. 4], who recalls the Christ in the Pala della Zecca [fig. 5] and some of the saints, too, in the polyptych of San Pier Maggiore [fig. 6].[29] In most of these images the modeling is now impoverished as a result of repeated, over-energetic cleaning, but the fluency of design, spaciousness of composition, and the artist’s ever greater attention to three-dimensional effects confirm the attribution of the painting to Jacopo. Typical of Jacopo di Cione, in addition, are such details as Mary’s tapering fingers and the mood of subtle languor that characterizes her face. The pursuit of gracefulness of pose and the delicate chiaroscuro in the modeling strongly suggest that the Gallery panel belongs to a phase preceding the artist’s output in the 1380s [30] and was probably produced in the years c. 1370/1375, probably closer to the second of these dates.

Miklós Boskovits (1935–2011)

March 21, 2016


Art market, Florence; Philip Lehman [1861-1947], New York, by 1917;[1] sold September 1943 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;[2] gift 1952 to NGA.

Exhibition History
Loan Exhibition of Italian Primitives, F. Kleinberger Galleries, New York, 1917, no. 5, repro.
Recent Additions to the Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1946.
Gronau, Hans Dietrich. "Jacopo di Cione." In Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Edited by Ulrich Thieme, Felix Becker and Hans Vollmer. 37 vols. Leipzig, 1907-1950: 26(1932):39.
Sirén, Osvald. Giotto and Some of His Followers. 2 vols. Translated by Frederic Schenck. Cambridge, 1917: 1:220, 224, 225, 275; 2:pl. 187.
Offner, Richard. "Italian Pictures at the New York Historical Society and Elsewhere." Art in America 7 (1919): 14.
Marle, Raimond van. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. 19 vols. The Hague, 1923-1938: 3(1924):466-468; 5(1925):479, fig. 284.
Lehman, Robert. The Philip Lehman Collection, New York: Paintings. Paris, 1928: no. V, repro.
Berenson, Bernard. "Quadri senza casa. Il Trecento fiorentino, 2." Dedalo 11 (1930-1931): 1057.
Mayer, August L. "Die Sammlung Philip Lehman." Pantheon 5 (1930): 113.
Salmi, Mario. "Review of L’arte nelle Marche dalle origini cristiane alla fine del Gotico by Luigi Serra." Rivista d’arte 12 (1930): 309.
Venturi, Lionello. Pitture italiane in America. Milan, 1931: no. 43, repro..
Berenson, Bernard. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: A List of the Principal Artists and their Works with an Index of Places. Oxford, 1932: 275.
Gronau, Hans Dietrich. "Lorenzo di Bicci: ein Rekonstruktionsversuch." Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz 4 (1933): 114.
Venturi, Lionello. Italian Paintings in America. Translated by Countess Vanden Heuvel and Charles Marriott. 3 vols. New York and Milan, 1933: 1:no. 53, repro.
Berenson, Bernard. Pitture italiane del rinascimento: catalogo dei principali artisti e delle loro opere con un indice dei luoghi. Translated by Emilio Cecchi. Milan, 1936: 236.
Meiss, Millard. "The Madonna of Humility." The Art Bulletin 18 (1936): 447, fig. 10.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1945 (reprinted 1947, 1949): 15, repro.
Friedmann, Herbert. The Symbolic Goldfinch. Its History and Significance in European Devotional Art. Washington, DC, 1946: 145.
Antal, Frederick. Florentine Painting and its Social Background: The Bourgeois Republic before Cosimo de’ Medici’s Advent to Power, XIV and XV Centuries. London, 1948: 145, 194, 225 nn. 126-127, pl. 44a.
Meiss, Millard. Painting in Florence and Siena after the Black Death. Princeton, 1951: 31, 42, 138, fig. 140.
Toesca, Pietro. Il Trecento. Storia dell’arte italiana, 2. Turin, 1951: 637 n. 157.
Shorr, Dorothy C. The Christ Child in Devotional Images in Italy During the XIV Century. New York, 1954: 74, 75, repro. 80.
Laclotte, Michel. De Giotto à Bellini: les primitifs italiens dans les musées de France. Exh. cat. Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, 1956: 17.
Levi D'Ancona, Mirella. "Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci e il Maestro delle Canzoni. Due miniatori trecenteschi della scuola di S. Maria degli Angeli a Firenze." Rivista d’arte 32 (1957): 11, 13.
Steinweg, Klara. "Die Kreuzigung Petri des Jacopo di Cione in der Pinacoteca Vaticana." Rendiconti. Pontificia Accademia romana di archeologia 30-31 (1957-1959): 244 n. 19.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 22, repro.
Tartuferi, Angelo. "Jacopo di Cione." In Dizionario biografico degli italiani. Edited by Alberto Maria Ghisalberti. 82+ vols. Rome, 1960+: 62(2004):58.
Boskovits, Miklós. "Une Madonne de l’atelier de Niccolò di Pietro Gerini." Bulletin du Musée Hongrois des Beaux-Arts 21 (1962): 27.
Offner, Richard. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. The Fourteenth Century. Sec. IV, Vol. I: Andrea di Cione. New York, 1962: 73.
Berenson, Bernard. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Florentine School. 2 vols. London, 1963: 2:106, 163.
Parronchi, Alessandro. Studi sulla “dolce” prospettiva. Milan, 1964: 121.
Marcucci, Luisa. Gallerie nazionali di Firenze. Vol. 2, I dipinti toscani del secolo XIV. Rome, 1965: 102, 129, 136, 137.
Offner, Richard, and Klara Steinweg. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. The Fourteenth Century. Sec. IV, Vol. III: Jacopo di Cione. New York, 1965: iv, 3, 5, 6, 103, 104 n. 1, 107–111, 123, 125 n. 5, 139, pls. X – X3.
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 97.
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools, XIII-XV Century. London, 1966: 31-32, fig. 76.
Boskovits, Miklós. "Der Meister der Santa Verdiana: Beiträge zur Geschichte der florentinischen Malerei um die Wende des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts." Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz 13 (1967): 50.
Klesse, Brigitte. Seidenstoffe in der italienischen Malerei des 14. Jahrhunderts. Bern, 1967: 99, 149, 160 (repro.), 255, 397.
Offner, Richard, and Klara Steinweg. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. The Fourteenth Century. Sec. IV, Vol. IV: Giovanni del Biondo, Part I. New York, 1967: ix n. 77.
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 85, repro.
Offner, Richard, and Klara Steinweg. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. The Fourteenth Century. Sec. IV, Vol. V: Giovanni del Biondo, Part II. New York, 1969: v, 59 n. 2.
Huter, Carl. "Gentile da Fabriano and the Madonna of Humility." Arte veneta 24 (1970): 29-30, 34 n. 12, fig. 38.
Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 102, 152, 646.
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools, XVI-XVIII Century. London, 1973: 382.
Boskovits, Miklós. Pittura fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento, 1370-1400. Florence, 1975: 54, 96, 211 n. 52, 330.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 256, repro.
Laclotte, Michel, and Elisabeth Mognetti. Avignon, Musée du Petit Palais: peinture italienne. 2nd ed. Paris, 1976: no. 78.
Gealt, Adelheid Medicus. "Lorenzo di Niccolò." Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1979. Ann Arbor, MI, 1980: 55 n. 22.
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1979: 1:248-249; 2:pl. 169, as by Jacopo di Cione.
Gli Uffizi: catalogo generale. 2nd ed. Florence, 1980: 288.
Strom, Deborah Phyl. "A New Look at Jacopo della Quercia’s Madonna of Humility." Antichità viva 19, no. 6 (1980): 19, fig. 6.
Padoa Rizzo, Anna. "Per Andrea Orcagna pittore." Annali della Scuola normale superiore di Pisa. 11 (1981): 852, 887, pl. lxiii-2.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 294, repro.
Eisenberg, Marvin. Lorenzo Monaco. Princeton, 1989: 7, 53 n. 27, fig. 266.
Kreytenberg, Gert. "Orcagna’s Madonna of Humility in the National Gallery of Art in Washington: Fragen nach Attribution und Ikonographie." Center / National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts 10 (1990): 57-58.
Deimling, Barbara. "Il Maestro di Santa Verdiana. Un polittico disperso e il problema dell’identificazione." Arte cristiana 79 (1991): 406.
Kreytenberg, Gert. "Andrea di Cione." In Enciclopedia dell’arte medievale. Edited by Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana. 12 vols. Rome, 1991-2002: 1(1991):607.
Kreytenberg, Gert. "Cione, Andrea di." In Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: Die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker. Edited by Günter Meißner. 87+ vols. Munich and Leipzig, 1992+: 19(1998):259.
Joannides, Paul. Masaccio and Masolino: A Complete Catalogue. London, 1993: 41, 48, 380, pl. 28.
Roberts, Perri Lee. Masolino da Panicale. Oxford, 1993: 25, 253, fig. 7.
Kanter, Laurence B., Barbara Drake Boehm, Carl Brandon Strehlke, Gaudenz Freuler, and Christa C. Mayer-Thurman. Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence, 1300-1450. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994: 130, 168.
Skaug, Erling S. Punch Marks from Giotto to Fra Angelico: Attribution, Chronology, and Workshop Relationships in Tuscan Panel Painting with Particular Consideration to Florence, c. 1330-1430. 2 vols. Oslo, 1994: 1:195; 2:punch chart 6.14.
Kreytenberg, Gert. "L’arca di San Ranieri di Tino di Camaino. Questioni di tipologia e di iconografia." In Storia ed arte nella Piazza del Duomo: Conferenze 1992-1993. Edited by Opera della Primaziale pisana. Pisa, 1995: 36-37, fig. 17.
Tamassia, Marilena. Collezioni d’arte tra Ottocento e Novecento: Jacquier Fotografi a Firenze, 1870-1935. Naples, 1995: 85.
Kreytenberg, Gert. "Cione." In The Dictionary of Art. Edited by Jane Turner. 34 vols. New York and London, 1996: 7:335.
Freuler, Gaudenz. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. Sec. IV, Vol. VII, pt. 2: Tendencies of Gothic in Florence: Don Silvestro de’ Gherarducci. Edited by Miklós Boskovits. Florence, 1997: 275, 277 fig. 1, 293–294, 296, 412 n. 1, 416, 420 n. 1, 422 n. 2.
Frinta, Mojmír S. Punched Decoration on Late Medieval Panel and Miniature Painting. Prague, 1998: 514.
Deimling, Barbara, and Simona Pasquinucci. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. Sec. IV, Vol. VIII: Tradition and Innovation in Florentine Trecento Painting: Giovanni Bonsi – Tommaso del Mazza. Edited by Miklós Boskovits. Florence, 2000: 187 n. 1.
Kreytenberg, Gert. Orcagna, Andrea di Cione: ein universeller Künstler der Gotik in Florenz. Mainz, 2000: 164-166, 180, 250, pl. 47.
Deimling, Barbara. "The Contamination of the Senses and the Purification of the Air in Mid-Fourteenth-Century Florence." In Opere e giorni: studi su mille anni di arte europea dedicati a Max Seidel. Edited by Klaus Bergdolt and Giorgio Bonsanti. Venice, 2001: 171 fig. 6.
Parenti, Daniela. "Studi recenti su Orcagna e sulla pittura dopo la ‘peste nera’." Arte cristiana 89 (2001): 330.
Franci, Beatrice. "Orcagna, Andrea." In La pittura in Europa. Il Dizionario dei pittori. Edited by Carlo Pirovano. 3 vols. Milan, 2002: 2:660-661.
Boskovits, Miklós, and Angelo Tartuferi, eds. Dipinti. Vol. 1, Dal Duecento a Giovanni da Milano. Catalogue of the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence. 1st ed. Florence, 2003: 124, 136.
Strehlke, Carl Brandon. Italian Paintings, 1250-1450, in the John G. Johnson Collection and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 2004: 415 (repro.), 416.
Laclotte, Michel, and Esther Moench. Peinture italienne: Musée du Petit Palais, Avignon. Paris, 2005: 103.
Tartuferi, Angelo, and Daniela Parenti, eds. Lorenzo Monaco: Dalla tradizione giottesca al Rinascimento. Exh. cat. Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, 2006: 101, fig. 1.
Deimling, Barbara. "Tommaso del Mazza: The Portrait of a Painter in Late Trecento Florence." In Discovering a Pre-Renaissance Master: Tomasso del Mazza. Edited by Anne Short. Greenville, S.C., 2009: 3.
Boskovits, Miklós, and Daniela Parenti, eds. Cataloghi della Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze: Dipinti. Vol. 2, Il tardo Trecento: dalla tradizione orcagnesca agli esordi del gotico internazionale. Florence, 2010: 154, 174.
Technical Summary

The support is constructed with several (probably five) planks of wood with vertical grain. The painted surface is surrounded by unpainted edges, originally covered by the now lost engaged frame. The panel has been thinned down to its present thickness of 0.6 cm, backed by an additional panel, and cradled by Stephen Pichetto in 1944. It has suffered from worm damage in the past. The painting was executed on a white gesso ground that was covered by a red bole preparation in the parts to be gilded. The outlines of the figures were demarcated with incised lines. The artist used warm, brown green underpaint in the flesh tones, and the paint was built up with smooth striations. The decorative borders of the Madonna’s clothing were created by mordant gilding.

Pichetto removed a discolored varnish during his treatment in 1944. Mario Modestini removed the varnish again and inpainted the panel in 1962.[1] Old photographs,[2] as well as the photo taken during restoration in 1962, show damage to the paint surface deriving from cracking along the joins between the panels. A vertical join runs through the right wrist of God the Father, the Virgin’s forehead and left hand, and the child’s right wrist. There are paint losses along this join and along checks passing through the faces and necks of the angels on the right, as well as in the extreme right edge of the Madonna’s cloak and in the gold ground. A horizontal scratch through the dove of the Holy Spirit and the faces of the lower pair of angels on the left has also caused minor damage. The losses were inpainted in 1962, when a now somewhat discolored varnish was applied to the paint layer. Apart from the abovementioned damage, the painting is in reasonably good condition.