UNKNOWN MASTER, Italian
(active mid-15th century in Florence)
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saintsc. 1450
Tempera on panel, gold ground, 84 x 51 cm
This panel depicts the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Sts John the Baptist, Paul, Nicolas of Bari and George. The robust figures of the Madonna and Child and the precise attention to detail are typical of painters in the mid-15th century in Florence. Indeed, the continuing influence of such masters as Fra Angelico can still be seen in the present work, and elements of the composition are reminiscent of artists like Apollonio di Giovanni (1414-1465) and Domenico di Michelino (1417-1491), to whom the painting has been attributed in the past.
A distinctive group of five paintings was attributed to an artist named Gualino Pesellinesque Master after a Madonna and Child with Saints in the Gualino collection in Turin. The influence of Pesellino is present in all, although some scholars have not fully recognized this grouping. The present work is attributed to the Gualino Pesellinesque Master, but tentative attributions to Apollonio di Giovanni and the Master of the Castello Nativity have also been suggested.