Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints
(left: Bartholomew, James the Elder, Eligius; right: Andrew, Lawrence and Dominic
Lateral pilasters, left: St. Bernardin and St. Catherine of Alexandria;
right: St. Francis and St. Margaret)
Lorenzo di Pietro, called Il Vecchietta (1410-1480)
Uffizi Gallery, inv. 1890 no. 474
Tempera on wood, cm 230 x 156, signed and dated on the step of the throne.
1457 OPUS LAURENTII PETRI SENENSIS
This imposing altarpiece, that from next spring will be permanently exhibited in the 15th-Century Sienese Painting Hall (no. 19), bears an inscription underneath the throne, with the painter’s signature, the date 1457 and the patron’s name, silk
merchant Giacomo d’Andreuccio. In the 18th century the painting was in the collection of the Sienese nobleman Francesco Petrucci, who donated it to the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1798.
The Vecchietta was one of the most noted representatives of Sienese Renaissance, renowned also for his frescoes in the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala. This altarpiece is one of Vecchietta’s assured masterpieces, it belongs to his mature production and shows the artist’s familiarity with the Florentine artistic developments, from Beato Angelico to Andrea del Castagno and Domenico Veneziano.
The altarpiece is in a rather poor state of conservation as regards both its wooden support and its pictorial surface. The presence of non-original elements, inhibiting the natural mobility of wood, has created fissures with damages to the pictorial layer, with lacunae or flaking parts. Besides repairing these lacunae, the pictorial surface needs cleaning.