Osservanza Master (Italian, Siena, active second quarter 15th century)
Tempera on wood, gold ground
56 1/2 x 27 3/8 in. (143.5 x 69.5 cm)
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 956
This monumental Madonna, enthroned and flanked by cherubim, likely formed the central component of a large multi-paneled polyptych. The enigmatic Osservanza Master has variously been identified as Sassetta and also as the young Sano di Pietro, based on close stylistic affinities with these other Sienese artists. It is also possible that the paintings attributed to the Osservanza Master are the product of a collaborative workshop to which these artists belonged.
Inscription: Inscribed: (on Madonna's halo) MARIA·MATER·GRATIE·ET·MISER[ICORDIA] (Mary, mother of grace and mercy); (on Christ Child's halo) YESVS NAÇAR ENVS·R EX·IV[DAEORVM]; (on scroll) EGO:S[VM]
F. Mason Perkins, Lastra a Signa; Rita Lydig, New York; Lydig sale, American Art Association, New York, April 4, 1913, no. 126 (see Catalogue by W. R. Valentiner); Morton Meinhard, New York; Mrs. Morton Meinhard, New York; Meinhard sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, May 4-5, 1951, no. 313. Acquired by Robert Lehman in 1951.