National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

Bulletin Annuel 5, 1981-1982

Annual Index
Author & Subject

Ugolino di Nerio: Saint Anne and the Virgin

by Laurence B. Kanter

Pages  1  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7


1 P. Bacci, Dipinti inediti e sconosciuti di Pietro Lorenzetti, Bernardo Daddi etc. in Siena e nel contado (Siena: 1939), pp. 121-162.

2 G. Vasari, Le Vite...(1568), ed. G. Milanesi (Florence: 1878), I, p. 454. G. F. Waagen, Kunstwerke und Künstler in England, I (Berlin: 1837), pp. 393-395. The history of the separate panels of the Santa Croce altarpiece is described at length in M. Davies, The National Gallery Catalogues, the Early Italian Schools, 2nd ed. (London: 1961), pp. 533-542. A drawing of the altarpiece before dismemberment was published by H. Loyrette, "Une source pour la reconstruction du polyptyque d'Ugolino da Siena à Santa Croce," Paragone, 343 (1978), pp. 15-23. This supersedes the many earlier discussions of the altarpiece's reconstruction. See, however, C. Gardner van Teuffel, "The Buttressed Altarpiece: a Forgotten Aspect of Tuscan Fourteenth-Century Altarpiece Design," lahrbuch der Berliner Museen, 21 (1979), pp. 21-65, who questions the absolute value of this drawing as evidence for reconstruction, and who otherwise points out that among early Italian painted altarpieces, only Duccio's Maestà was larger than Ugolino's Santa Croce altarpiece.

3 No. 26956. Formerly private collection, Lucca; 1953, M. Knoedler and Co., New York (G. Coor-Achenbach, "Contributions to the Study of Ugolino di Nerio's Art," Art Bulletin, XXXVII (1955), p. 164 n. 57, as by the Goodhart Ducciesque Master); Mrs Rudolf Heinemann, Lugano, Switzerland (J. H. Stubblebine, Duccio di Buoninsegna and His School, I (Princeton, N.1.: 1979), p. 170, with dimensions incorrectly reported).

4 The painting was transferred and cleaned by William Suhr in 1953 (information kindly communicated by Mr Burton Fredericksen of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, California, and Mr Myron Laskin Jr, of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa) and the gold ground cleaned by Mario Modestini in 1981. I am indebted to Prof. Modestini and to Mrs Rudolf Heinemann for the opportunity to study the painting closely at that time.

5 R. H. Bannister, "The Introduction of the Cultus of St. Anne into the West," English Historical Review, XVII (1903), pp. 107-112. B. Kleinschmidt, Die Heilige Anna: Ihre Verehrung in Geschichte, Kunst und Volkstum (Düsseldorf: 1930). The feast of Saint Anne, 26 July, was extended to the whole Roman Church only in 1584 by Gregory XIII. Pope Urban VI bad ordered a general observance of her feast in 1382, though it was unquestionably celebrated locally before that. A fourteenth-century fresco now in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, shows Saint Anne and the Florentines expelling the Duke of Athens, commemorating the event of 26 July 1343. See also n. II below.

6 E. Houvet, Cathédrale de Chartres, Portail Nord, I, pl. 9. Stubblebine, op. cit., p. 26, states a case for Duccio's familiarity with works of art at Chartres. It is possible, though not necessary to explain the Ottawa painting, that Ugolino too bad contact in some way with the French centre. For other early sculptural examples of Saint Anne holding the infant Virgin, see A. Feulner, "Jmad - Anna oder Jmad-Madonna?" Pantheon, XXI (1938), pp. 160-161; M. Zykan, "Die Gotische Annenstatue der Stadtpfarrkirche in Krems und ihre Wiederaufrichtung im 18. Jahrhundert." Osterreichische Zeitschriftfür Kunst und Denkmalpflege, XXV (1972), pp. 130-134.

7 Bannister, loc. cit. J. Lafontaine-Dosogne, Iconographie de l'Enfance de la Vierge dans l'Empire Byzantin et en Occident, Il (Brussels), 1965, p. 107, cites two examples in South Italy with Greek inscriptions. See, however, n. II below. Somewhat later than Ugolino's painting are two Veronese lniniatures very similar to it, and it is not impossible that a common model for all three works is lost today. See E. Sandberg-Vavala, "Turone Miniatore," Dedalo, X (1929), pp. 15-44.

8 M. Levi D'Ancona, The Iconography of the Immaculate Conception in the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance, n. p. (College Art Association, 1957), p. 39.

9 Fr. Gabriel ab Annuntiatione, O. C. D., "De Carmelitarum in SS. Parentes B. Mariae V. Cultu et Devotione," Analecta ordinis Carmelitarum Discalceatorum, VII (1932), pp. 104-151; G. De Tervarent, Les énigmes de l'art du Moyen Âge, II, (Paris: 1941), p. 36.

10 Count Louis of Chartres brought the precious relic of the head of Saint Anne away from the sack of Constantinople in 1204. Countess Catherine gave it to the Cathedral, and all writers on the iconography of Chartres attribute Saint Anne's prominence there to this donation. See A. Katzenellenbogen, The Sculptural Programs of Chartres Cathedral (Baltimore, Md.: 1959), p. 62. The conspicuous position of Elijah and Elisha, legendary founders of the Carmelite order, in the line of patriarchs and prophets flanking Saint Anne is not generally thought to relate iconographically to the legend of Hysmeria. It is extremely doubtful whether there were any Carmelites in France as early as c. 1210.

11 cf. Lexikon der Marienkunde, I (Regensburg: 1967), column 230 ff. for the establishment of Brotherhoods of Saint Anne, including one at Rome in 1328. Pope Gregory X (d. 1276) was buried in vestments embroidered with an image of Saint Anne nursing the infant Virgin, around which ran the inscription: COELESTE BENEFICIUM INTRA VIT IN ANNAM DE QUA NA T A EST NOBIS MARIA VIRGO MA TER DOMINI (A. del Vita, "Lo Scapolare di Papa Gregorio X," Dedalo, IV (1923-24), pp. 625-628).

12 Stubblebine, op. cit., I, p. 158. The Tadini Madonna is probably the earliest work in which Ugolino's individuality is fully manifest. Both Stubblebine and Coor-Achenbach (Ioc. cit.) propose an earlier oeuvre, the former among Duccio's shop works, the latter among works in the penumbra of the Badia a Isola Master. Both arguments are meritorious though neither is wholly convincing.

13 Stubblebine, op. cit., I, p. 27-28, II, fig. 40.

14 Ibid., I, pp. 182-183, II, figs 450-457. J. Pope-Hennessy, Heptaptych, Ugolino da Siena, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, Mass.: 1962), with cogent observations on Ugolino's stylistic development.

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