Together Again: A Nardo di Cione Masterpiece Reunited
- Dates: November 17, 2000 through February 18, 2001
- Organizing Department: Prints, Drawings and Photographs
- Collections: European Art
September 2000: For the first time in nearly 150 years, the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s altarpiece by Nardo di Cione, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints, will be shown complete with its uppermost panel, Christ Blessing, which was recently acquired by the Museum. The complete work, considered the most important mid-14th-century Italian painting in America, is part of Nardo di Cione: The Reuniting of an Altarpiece, an exhibition at the BMA opening November 17, 2000, that celebrates the early Renaissance master and the reunion of these two panels. The exhibition closes on February 18, 2001.
The Museum’s Madonna and Child with Saints is one of the most remarkable achievements of Nardo di Cione, whose known oeuvre comprises fewer than thirty works. The Museum purchased that panel from the 1995 Sotheby’s sale of art from the New-York Historical Society, and has been able to complete the altarpiece with the recent purchase of the pinnacle, representing Christ. The two pictures were last seen together at an auction in 1851.
The Christ Blessing panel was first severed from the rest of the altarpiece to facilitate transport from Italy to Paris when Artaud de Montor purchased the work in 1808. The two panels remained together in that collection until 1851, when they were sold separately. The main altarpiece, Madonna and Child with Saints, was purchased by Thomas Jefferson Bryan, who later bequeathed the work to the New-York Historical Society in 1867. The Christ Blessing panel, long thought to be lost, and known only through an engraving, was in fact in a private collection, and resurfaced in a sale in England in the Spring of 2000.
Related works by Nardo di Cione will also be included in the exhibition, to give a context to this masterpiece. The exhibition will also present information about the various processes used by Museum curators and conservators to analyze works of art.
Nardo di Cione is being organized by Elizabeth Easton, Chair of the Department of European Painting and Sculpture. The exhibition will be presented in the Museum’s Galleries of European Painting and Sculpture.