Niccolò di Buonaccorso, unknown-1388
Madonna of Humility with St. Catherine and St. Christopher, The Annunciation, and the Crucifixion, ca. 1370-75
Tempera on panel, 152.5 x 58.5 cm (25-7/8 x 21-1/2 in.)
This work, though smaller than Niccolò di Buonaccorso's Madonna and Child, displays the artist's sophisticated and delicate technique, most notably in the complex modeling of the draperies, in the refined depiction of textile patterns and textures, in the detailed rendering of the still life behind the Virgin in the central panel, and the water and fish at the feet of Saint Christopher in the right panel. The center panel is unusual because it shows the Virgin seated on the ground, surrounded by common domestic objects and furnishings. The triptych is a portable altarpiece, which may explain the inclusion of Saint Christopher, the protector of travelers, who holds a globe, implying the weight of the world.
Frederick Mont, New York (as Paolo di Giovanni Fei)
T. S. Hyland, Greenwich, Connecticut
Acquired by the Putnam Foundation, 1967