This delicately painted panel is by a close follower of Duccio and employs some of his favorite devices, such as the Child playing with the veil of the Virgin, who engages the gaze of the viewer-worshipper. Its small size made it perfect for private devotion, as it could be easily moved. The scenes of the Annunciation and Nativity helped focus meditation on the life of the Virgin. The frame is original; the panel is decorated on its reverse.
William Young Ottley, London (by 1835–d. 1836); his brother, Warner Ottley, London (1836–47; his estate sale, Foster's, London, June 30, 1847, no. 31, as by Taddeo di Bartolo, for £6.6.0 to Northesk); William Hopetoun Carnegie, 8th Earl of Northesk, Ethie Castle, Forfarshire, Scotland (from 1847; gave to father-in-law of Rev. Barnes); father-in-law of Rev. Barnes; Reverend George Edward Barnes, Somerton Rectory, Banbury (in 1890); Thomas Sutton, London (until 1920; sale, Christie's, London, January 23, 1920, no. 8, as by Taddeo di Bartolo, for £367.10.0 to Durlacher); [Durlacher, London, 1920; sold to MMA]
Hartford. Widener Art Galleries, Austin Arts Center, Trinity College. "Sienese and Florentine Wood Panels," November 29–December 19, 1967, no catalogue?
Gustav Friedrich Waagen. Kunstwerke und Künstler in England und Paris. Vol. 1, 1837, pp. 395–96.
G[ustav]. F[riedrich]. Waagen. Works of Art and Artists in England. London, 1838, vol. 2, pp. 123–24, as in Mr. Ottley's collection; attributes it to Taddeo di Bartolo.
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "Two Sienese Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (February 1921), p. 28, ill. on cover, as by an unknown painter, a follower of Duccio.
Raimond van Marle. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. Vol. 2, The Sienese School of the 14th Century. The Hague, 1924, p. 153, fig. 102, as school of Segna di Buonaventura.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 396, calls it an early work by Niccolò di Segna, a son of Segna di Buonaventura.
Erwin Panofsky. "The Friedsam Annunciation and the Problem of the Ghent Altarpiece." Art Bulletin 17 (December 1935), pp. 441–42, fig. 9 (detail), as school of Segna di Buonaventura; discusses the iconography of the Annunciation.
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 341.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 71–72, ill.
Cesare Brandi. Duccio. Florence, 1951, p. 152 n. 32, calls it a work by the same follower of Duccio who painted a diptych in the Robert Lehman collection (now MMA, 1975.1.1–2), a Madonna and Child at Knoedler's, New York, in 1939, and possibly a Madonna and Child once in the Melzi d'Eril collection and now in the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh (Kress collection).
Dorothy C. Shorr. The Christ Child in Devotional Images in Italy During the XIV Century. New York, 1954, pp. 152, 154, ill. p. 157 (detail), based on information provided by Offner, attributes it to the Goodhart Ducciesque Master.
Gertrude Coor-Achenbach. "Contributions to the Study of Ugolino di Nerio's Art." Art Bulletin 37 (September 1955), p. 164 n. 57, concurs with the attribution to the Goodhart Ducciesque Master.
Gertrude Coor-Achenbach. "A New Attribution to the Monte Oliveto Master and some Observations concerning the Chronology of his Works." Burlington Magazine 97 (July 1955), p. 203, attributes it to a close follower of Ugolino di Nerio.
E[llis]. K. Waterhouse. "Some Notes on William Young Ottley's Collection of Italian Primitives." Italian Studies Presented to E. R. Vincent. Cambridge, 1962, pp. 276, 279, no. 31, gives provenance information.
Fern Rusk Shapley. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. Vol. 1, Italian Schools: XIII–XV Century. London, 1966, p. 18, under no. K592.
Wolfgang Kermer. Studien zum Diptychon in der sakralen Malerei. PhD diss., Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen. [Düsseldorf], 1967, part 1, p. 81; part 2, pp. 29–30, no. 19, fig. 28, calls it a Sienese work of the first half of the fourteenth century by a follower of Duccio.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools. London, 1968, vol. 1, p. 119, attributes it to the same painter as the Birmingham and Lehman pictures.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 129, 268, 301, 312, 606.
James H. Stubblebine. Letter to Katharine Baetjer. August 14, 1978, writes that in his forthcoming book [see Ref. 1979], he attributes the picture to the Goodhart Master and dates it no earlier than 1310.
James H. Stubblebine. Duccio di Buoninsegna and His School. Princeton, 1979, vol. 1, p. 107; vol. 2, fig. 256, attributes it to the Goodhart Ducciesque Master and dates it no earlier than 1310, due to an element borrowed from Duccio's Maestà of that date.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sienese and Central Italian Schools. New York, 1980, pp. 43–44, pl. 4, attribute it to the Goodhart Ducciesque Master and state that both it and the Lehman picture were probably painted between 1310 and 1315.
Victor M. Schmidt. "Portable Polyptychs with Narrative Scenes: Fourteenth-Century 'De luxe' Objects between Italian Panel Painting and French 'Arts somptuaires'." Italian Panel Painting of the Duecento and Trecento. Ed. Victor M. Schmidt. Washington, 2002, pp. 410, 422 n. 35.
Alessandro Bagnoli inDuccio: alle origini della pittura senese. Ed. Alessandro Bagnoli et al. Exh. cat., Santa Maria della Scala, Siena. Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, 2003, p. 334, suggests changing the artist's name to Master of the Gondi Maestà after a work (152 x 83.5 cm) in the Gondi collection, Florence, added to the artist's oeuvre by Luciano Cateni ["Appunti sul 'Goodhart Master'", Prospettiva, no. 45 (April 1986), pp. 63–66].
Ada Labriola inThe Alana Collection. Ed. Miklós Boskovits. Vol. 1, Italian Paintings from the 13th to 15th Century. Florence, 2009, p. 106, 108 n. 3, discusses it in connection with a panel of about 1320 attributed to the Master of Monte Oliveto with the same compositional arrangement: a Madonna and Child above and two narrative scenes below.
The engaged original frame is from Siena and dates to about 1310–15 (see Additional Images, figs. 1–3). It is made of poplar. The linen layer on the panel beneath the painting extends to the surface of the wood under the gesso and water gilding on the frame. Comprised of a simple ogee and stepped profile and now heavily coated with later darkened varnishes, the flat just before the top edge may have had punchwork decoration. Fragments of hardware on the left side suggest it may have been part of a diptych.
[Timothy Newbery with Cynthia Moyer 2017; further information on this frame can be found in the Department of European Paintings files]
The artist's name derives from the painter of a Madonna and Child formerly in the A. E. Goodhart collection, New York, and now in the Robert Lehman Collection of the Metropolitan Museum (1975.1.24). For other works attributed to this painter, see Stubblebine 1979.
Hinge marks visible on the right edge indicate that this panel was originally the left wing of a diptych. The missing right wing probably depicted a Crucifixion. Part of the original decoration on the back of the panel is still preserved: deep green and red borders, and two diamonds and a quatrefoil of deep green on a background of blue (now blackened).