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Vittore Crivelli (Italy ca. 1440‑1501/02)

The Madonna and Child adored by angels

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

Lot 512 Vittore Crivelli (Italy ca. 1440‑1501/02). The Madonna and Child adored by angels. Tempera on panel, 42 x 25 cm.

With a wax seal on the reverse.


400.000 – 600.000 SEK
€ 35.000 – 53.000


Bayer Collection, New York.
Contini Bonacossi collection, Florence.
Galerie Canesso, Paris.
An important Swedish private collection, acquired from the above in 1994.


Raimond van Merle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. The Renaissance Painters of Venice: The Crivelli, B. and Alv. Vivarini Carpaccio, etc., vol. XVIII, 1936, p. 84, no. 1.
Roberto Longhi, Viatico per Cinque Secoli di Pittura Veneziana, 1946, p. 57, Tav. 52, as early work by Carlo Crivelli.
Pietro Zampetti, Carlo Crivelli nelle Marche, 1952, pp. 12‑16, 69, no. 84, as by Tolmezzo School.
Luigi Coletti, Pittura Veneta del Quattrocento: 184 tavole, 1953, p. XLVII.
Anna Bovero, Tutta la pittura del Crivelli, 1961, pp. 15 and 87, as ‘tolmezzina’.
Federico Zeri, Appunti nell’Ermitage e nel Museo Puskin. Un polittico di Vittore Crivelli nel Museo Puskin, in Bollettino d’arte, 1961, p. 230, illustrated fig. 20, p. 232.
Federico Zeri, Cinque Schede per Carlo Crivelli, in: Arte Antica e Moderna, XIII, 1961, pp. 158/76.
Kruno Prijatelj, Una proposta per il Crivelli, in: Arte Veneta, XVII, 1963, pp. 161‑163, as possibly by Carlo Crivelli.
Sandra Di Provvido, La pittura di Vittore Crivelli, 1972, pp. 37‑39, fig. 1.
Anna Bovero, L’Opera completa del Crivelli, 1975, p. 84, no. 4, as early work by Carlo Crivelli.
Roberto Longhi, Viatico per cinque secoli di pittura veneziana (1948), in: Opere complete, Ricerche sulla pittura veneta 1946‑1969, 1978, p. 51, illustrated no. 48, p. 52.
Giorgo Gamulin, Contributi alla pittura del’400, in: Arte Veneta, 1983, p. 35.
F. Bologna, Nota al Crivelli e all’Alamanno, in: La valle dell’alto Vomano ed i monti della Laga, DAT III, 1, 1991, p. 371.
Stefano Papetti and Pietro Zampetti (ed.), Vittore Crivelli e la pittura del suo tempo nel Fermano, 1997, p. 199, cat. no. 1, illustrated.

In context

This fine and well-preserved panel, which strikes by its elongated vertical form and moderate size, is an important early work by the artist, dating from circa 1465, when Vittore and his elder brother Carlo (1430‑1495) were living in Zara, Dalmatia (nowadays Zadar, Croatia).

The panel, obviously for private devotion, depicts the Virgin at prayer behind a parapet while she gazes down on Christ Child seated on a cushion on the parapet, giving a blessing with his right and holding a golden orb in his left hand. Angels kneeling on clouds above an Adriatic landscape participate in this heavenly scene of praying and adoration. The figure of the Madonna, wearing a red and blue garment with gold threads and borders, a crown and a halo, filling the entire elongated pictorial space, grants monumentality to the scene.
Known since the 1930s when van Marle was the first to publish it as a work by Vittore Crivelli and variably attributed to Carlo and Vittore by subsequent scholars, in 1961 Federico Zeri convincingly pointed out the painting’s stylistic similarities with the artist’s triptych now in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow and with the Madonna and Child, formerly in the Lackoronski collection, Vienna (Papetti, Zampetti, op.cit., cat. nos. 2 and 3, with ills.). As confirmed by Provvida, op.cit., p. 37 and Dr Victor Schmidt (private communication), the panel has since received wide acclaim as a work by Vittore Crivelli from his early years.

Indeed, this Madonna and Child belongs to a small group of similar smaller panels of elongated vertical form depicting a Madonna and Child behind a parapet. These are the already mentioned panels formerly in the Lackoronski collection, Vienna (Papetti, Zampetti, op.cit., cat. no. 3, with ill.); the fully signed painting of which the whereabouts are presently unknown, last seen at an auction in London in 1947 (Papetti, Zampetti, cat. no. 4, with ill.) and the painting now in the Palazzo Communale, Zagreb (cat. no. 6). The present Madonna stands out in this group for its excellent state of conservation.

As the other works in the group, the present panel lacks the decorative elements of fruit and garlands with which Carlo and Vittore Crivelli would have considerable success later in their careers in the Marche, Carlo from Ascoli Piceno and Vittore from Fermo. Here the composition is still dependent on Venetian prototypes, such as by Giovanni Bellini and the Vivarini’s and by the developments in Padua, where following Fra Filippo Lippi’s visit in 1434, the artistic climate was striving in a local school headed by Squarcione and Mantegna. 

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Sofie Bexhed


Tel: 0705-22 61 62

Amanda Rass


Tel: 0720-70 22 61

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