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Girolamo di Benvenuto (Italy 1470‑1524)

Two predella panels: Saint Louis of Toulouse and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

To be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale Week 13 – 16 June 2023

Lot 517 Girolamo di Benvenuto (Italy 1470‑1524). Two predella panels: Saint Louis of Toulouse and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. Tempera and gold on panel, 33 x 44 cm (each).

Executed ca. 1510.
With red wax seals on the reverse: ”J.A. Ramboux”.


200.000 – 300.000 SEK
€ 18.000 – 26.000


Probably the church of the Observant Franciscan convent, Montalcino.
German painter and lithographer Johann Anton Alban Ramboux (1790‑1866), Cologne.
Mrs. Charles B. Scully collection.
Samuel T. Peters (1854‑1921), the property of Peter Tcherepnine.
Christie’s, New York, 8 November 1984, lot 93.
Luciano Funghini Antichita’, Florence.
An important Swedish private collection, acquired from the above in October 1988.


14 Biennale Mostra Mercato Internazionale dell’Antiquariato di Firenze, 21 September-13 October 1985, Florence, p. 333.


Franco Moro, Due pannelli di Gerolamo di Benvenuto, in: Bulletin du Musée Hongrois des Beaux-Arts, 1992, cat. no. 33.
Dóra Sallay, Corpus of Sienese Paintings in Hungary 1420‑1510, 2015, pp. 286‑293, ill. fig. 3 and 4, p. 289.

In context

Once part of an altarpiece, the present panels depicting Saint Louis of Toulouse and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, are now fragments, which together with three other similar panels composed a predella that probably decorated Girolamo di Benvenuto’s Assumption of the Virgin with Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Anthony of Padua altarpiece (now in Museo Civico e Diocesano di Arte Sacra, Montalcino, inv. no. 17MD). The altarpiece comes from the church of the Observant Franciscan convent near Montalcino. The convent was destroyed in 1553 by the imperial army of Charles V, only the church managed to escape the demolition. It is not known when the Assumption of the Virgin found its way to the walls of the church. It was first recorded in the church in the early 18th century but a later inventory from 1808 does not include the altarpiece. The origin of the Assumption panel remains a bit of a mystery, but its date around 1510 suits with the hypothesis that it was part of the original decorations of the church, since the construction was completed in 1512.

The first known owner, German painter and lithographer Johann Anton Ramboux, possessed four of the fragments from the same predella, two of them are the present panels in the sale, the third depicting The presentation of the Virgin in the Temple (now in a private collection) and the fourth entitled The Virgin Appears to Saint Bernardino of Siena (Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, inv. no. 38). The panels were separated after the sale of Ramboux’s collection in 1867. The present lot reappeared in 1984, when published in the auction catalogue (Christie’s, New York, 8 November 1984, lot 93). The panels strike for their bright colour palette and attention to the detail. The drapery is neatly arranged around the kneeling saints with its serpentine foldings. Although the composition may seem stiff, it is painted with quite loose and spontaneous brushwork. The landscapes with rocky cliffs and sparsely placed trees are probably influenced by other Sienese painters, like Pinturicchio and Sodoma.

Girolamo di Benvenuto (1470‑1524) was born in Siena, where he mastered the traditional Sienese style under his father’s supervision. He worked in his father’s studio, undertaking frescos and altarpieces. One of his first independent works is considered to be the Assumption of the Virgin altarpiece, which means that even the present lot is regarded as part of his early works. Benvenuto was a favored artist of the Observant Franciscans in the early 16th century, which validates his commission for the convent even more.  ■

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