UNKNOWN MASTER, Italian
(active in the first half of 15th century in Florence)
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints1400-50
Tempera and gold on panel, 218 x 258 cm
Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome
The four saints around the throne are Sts Anthony, Peter, John the Baptist, and Matthew.
This fine, though unfortunately fragmentary triptych, now bears the conventional name, only recently assigned to it, of the Master of Borgo alla Collina. Bernard Berenson considered it to be a work by the so-called Master of the Bambino Vispo. The latter was a figure of greater artistic significance, with whom the painter of this panel, an anonymous artist who may have been of Spanish origin, has often been confused owing to a similarity in the morphological details of their figures. In the past, the names of Pietro di Domenico da Montepulciano and Gherardo Starnina have also been put forward, the latter being a representative of International Gothic art, who might possibly have been the same person as the aforementioned Master of the Bambino Vispo.
The Master of Borgo alla Collina is the name given to the painter of a triptych depicting the Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine among Saint Francis, the Angel and Tobias, Saint Michael Archangel, and Saint Louis of Toulouse, in the parish church of the village of that name in Casentino. The painting, which resembles the above, was purchased for 7,500 scudi by Filippo Andrea V Doria Pamphilj Landi in 1854 from the Roman painter Luigi Cochetti (who thought it to be the work of Taddeo di Bartolo), along with four more pictures.