Polyptych with Coronation of the Virgin and Saints

Object Details

Title:

Polyptych with Coronation of the Virgin and Saints

Artist/Maker:

Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni (Italian (Florentine), active 1369/1370 - 1415)

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Florence, Tuscany, Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1390s

Medium:

Tempera and gold leaf on panel

Dimensions:

Framed [outer dim]: 355.6 × 239.1 cm (140 × 94 1/8 in.)

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In the central panel of this opulent polyptych, Christ crowns his mother, the Virgin Mary, as gathered angels and saints look on. The altarpiece decorated a chapel dedicated to Saint Benedict in the Church of Santa Trinità, Florence, which explains why Saint Benedict is portrayed twice, on the left panel and again in a scene below.

The altarpiece's various panels do not depict episodes in chronological order. In the pinnacles above the central scene, which were added at a later date, the Archangel Gabriel announces the conception of Christ to the Virgin. Below, in the predella, or lowest panel, the Virgin's death is represented at the center. To either side are scenes of saints triumphing over evil. On the far left, Saint Benedict exorcises a devil, and in the panel to the right Saint John baptizes Christ. To the right of the Virgin's death, devils torment Saint Anthony, while on the far right Saint Lawrence liberates a soul from purgatory.

Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni used lavish amounts of gold leaf and different types of punch marks and tooling to describe haloes and background decorations. He took great pains to include details such as attributes for saints on the side wings and landscapes in most of the predella panels. The opulence and sheer elaborateness of this altarpiece inspired awe in Christian viewers of the late 1300s and remain impressive today.

Provenance
probably by 1407 -

Probably Gianfigliazzi Family (Saint Benedict Chapel, Santa Trinità, Florence, Italy), possibly moved from the Saint Benedict chapel in the seventeenth century.
Source: Strehlke, "Cenni di Francesco" JPGM Journal (1992), p 22.

-

Probably Gianfigliazzi Family (Florence, Italy), probably by marriage to the Lotteringhi Della Stufa Family.
Source: Strehlke, "Cenni di Francesco" JPGM Journal (1992), p. 23.

-

Probably Lotteringhi Della Stufa Family (Florence, Italy)
Source: Strehlke, "Cenni di Francesco" JPGM Journal (1992), p. 11.

before about 1889 -

Marchese Ferdinando Lotteringhi Della Stufa (Florence, Italy)
Source: Strehlke, "Cenni di Francesco" JPGM Journal (1992), p. 11.

-

Lotteringhi Della Stufa Family (Lotteringhi Della Stufa Family Palace, Piazza San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy)
Source: Strehlke, "Cenni di Francesco" JPGM Journal (1992), p. 18.

- after 1918

Marchese Della Stufa (Florence, Italy), sold to Eugenia Ruspoli, after 1918.
Source: Strehlke, "Cenni di Francesco" JPGM Journal (1992), p. 18.

about 1918 - 1951

Princess Eugenia Ruspoli, died 1951 (Rome, Italy; New York, New York), by inheritance to her niece and adopted daughter, Maria Theresa Droutzkoy, 1951.

1951 - 1971

Princess Maria Theresa Droutzkoy (New York, New York), sold through French and Company (New York, New York), to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1971.

Bibliography

Offner, Richard. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting: The Fourteenth Century. Sec. 3, vol. 5 (New York: Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1947) p. 249.

Zeri, Federico. "La Mostra 'Arte in Valdelsa' a Certaldo." Bolletino d'Arte 48, no. 3 (July-September 1963) p. 255n5.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Catalogue of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972) pp. 8-9, no. 10.

Boskovits, Miklòs. Pittura fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento 1370-1400 (Florence: Edam, 1975) pp. 128, 289, fig. 138.

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975) pp. 68, 77, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976) pp. 60-61, ill.

Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum, rev. ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976) p. 61.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jírí Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978) p. 76.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 5th ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980) p. 65.

Offner, Richard. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting: A Legacy of Attributions: The Fourteenth Century: Supplement. Hayden B. J. Maginnis, ed. (Glückstadt: J. J. Augustin, 1981) p. 52, fig. 118.

Brown, Howard Mayer. "Catalogus: A Corpus of Trecento Pictures with Musical Subject Matter, Part I." Imago Musicae 1 (1984) pp. 228-29, fig. 78.

Strehlke, Carl Brandon. "Cenni di Francesco, the Gianfigliazzi, and Church of Santa Trinita in Florence." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 20 (1992) pp. 11-40, figs. 1, 9-10, 14-18, 26-29.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 24, ill.

Walsh, John, and Deborah Gribbon. The J. Paul Getty Museum and Its Collections: A Museum for the New Century (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 94, ill.

I Dipinti dal XIII al XIX secolo. Vol. 1, La Collezione Cagnola. Miklós Boskovits and Giorgio Fossaluzzi, eds. (Busto Arsizio: Nomos Edizioni, 1998) p. 74.

Offner, Richard, et al. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting: The Fourteenth Century: Bernardo Daddi and His Circle. Sec. 3, vol. 5. Miklós Boskovits, ed. (Florence: Giunti, 2001), pp. 538, 625.

Personal Viewpoints: Thoughts about Paintings Conservation. A Seminar Organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Research Institute [...]. Mark Leonard, ed. (Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Insitute, 2003) p. 23, fig. 14.

Shive, Melissa. "The Dissolution of Pictorial Thresholds: the Angel Pietàs of Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino, and Jacopo da Pontormo." Rutgers Art Review 24 (2008) pp. 28-29, fig. 7.

Guédron, Martial, et. al. Monstres, Merveilles et Créatures Fantastiques (Paris: Éditions Hazan, 2011) p. 143, ill.