Niccolo di Bonaccorso , or Niccolo di Buonacorsi ( Italian: Niccolo di Buonaccorso , according to documents, worked in Siena from 1355 - d. 1388 ) - Italian artist, Siena school .
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Niccolo di Bonaccorso was born into the family of the artist Bonaccorso di Pache. His date of birth is unknown, however, researchers believe that this is approximately 1348, because it was this year that his father married Maddalena di Cecco di Nuccio - the future mother of Niccolo. Few surviving documents mention his name from 1356 to 1388. Despite the fact that in 1356 the name Nicolo di Bonaccorso appeared on the Breve dell'Arte list of Siena artists' guilds, researchers believe that some of the artists ’names, including Niccolò, appeared on this register several years later. Since he could not be born before 1348, he could only become an independent painter around 1370. In the Republic of Siena, he made a good career not only as a painter, but also as a capable administrator. From 1372 to 1377, he was a member of the Council - the highest government body of the Siena Republic, and in 1381 he was elected to the honorary position of gonfaloniere (standard bearer) in the district of St. Martin. With a certain degree of certainty, it can be argued that, occupying such high posts, Niccolo could count on very prestigious orders. However, the lion's share of the artist’s preserved heritage is made up of small portable altars, and this circumstance has led to the fact that among scholars of art history, the opinion of Niccolo di Bonaccorso as a secondary Siena artist was firmly established, which is not entirely true. Indeed, the main body of his works is composed of small works, often with the same biblical subjects and ways of displaying them; also, no information has been preserved that Niccolo frescoed the temples. However, it should be borne in mind that the existing works are only a small part of what was created by this master.
Only two works signed by the artist have survived to our days - Mary’s Betrothal from the National Gallery, London, and Madonna and Child from the Timken Gallery, San Diego.
The “Madonna and Child” from the Timken Gallery has the inscription NICHOLAUS BONACHURSI ME PINXIT A.DNI 1387 (Nikolaus Bonakursi wrote me in 1387 from R.X.), and was once the central panel of the large altar in the church of Santa Margherita in Costalpino. This altar was created by the artist a year before his death, and is known in the history of art as the “Polyptych of Montecchio”, mentioned in 1854 by a great researcher of Italian painting Gaetano Milanesi . For many years he was considered lost until Miklos Boskovits discovered yet another panel from this altar - “St. Lawrence with a group of worshipers at his feet ”(c. Sant Andrea in Montecchio). This discovery gives hope to find other parts. Today, two altar panels, each 190x80 cm in size, are the largest large-format works of Nicolo di Bonaccorso. A slightly smaller format, 110x75 cm. - A small altar "Episodes from the New Testament" (Siena, Pinakothek).
The rest of the products that came out from under his brush are modest diptychs , triptychs , and individual parts of small altars, painted in magnificent miniature technique. Their sizes range from 80x60 cm to 45x30 cm. Such small folds or polyptychs, as a rule, were used for prayer in private homes.
Triptych from c. Santa Maria Nuova.
Among such works created by Niccolo, the triptych consisting of The Betrothal of Mary (National Gallery, London), The Introduction of Mary to the Temple (Uffizi Gallery, Florence) and The Coronation of Mary (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) is best known. )
Mary's introduction to the temple. (left panel) 1380. Uffizi, Florence.
Betrothal Mary. (central panel). 1380. National Gallery, London.
The coronation of Mary. (right panel). 1380. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Of these, the London Betrothal of Mary is of greatest interest. The artist placed a crowded scene at the exit of the temple. In the foreground is Joseph, putting a ring on Mary's finger; between them stands the high priest, and behind Joseph you can see the parents of Mary, Joachim and Anna, a halo surrounds their heads. Musicians blow trumpets and beat drums; curious people look out of the window, in the lower right corner a little boy looks at what is happening - a frequent attribute of Siena populous compositions. In the background is a tall palm tree, and researchers see in it an allusion to the line from the biblical “Song of Songs” - “... This camp is like your palm ...”. In the depiction of brocade fabrics, the artist used the sgraffito technique (paint was applied to the golden base, after which the pattern was scratched). It is also interesting that a carpet with a Turkish pattern is spread under the feet of those present - this is one of the first images of a Turkish carpet in European art. At the bottom of the picture is the inscription NICHOLAUS: BONACHURSI: DE SENIS: ME PINXIT (Nicolo di Bonaccorso from Siena wrote me). The picture is missing a date; researchers date it around 1380.
In all likelihood, the triptych was written for the Florentine church of Santa Maria Nuova (it was from her that the part “Introduction of Mary to the Temple” came to the Uffizi Gallery). This raises the status of Niccolo di Bonaccorso as an artist - rare Siena craftsmen managed to get orders in Florence. Researchers admit that the triptych could be part of a more complex altar.
Niccolo di Bonaccorso is credited with a number of small works - diptych “The Mystical Betrothal of St. Catherine of Alexandria ”and“ Crucifixion ”(National Museum of Abruzzo, Aquila), diptych“ Annunciation ”(Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts),“ Madonna and Child with the Throne and Six Saints ”(Berlin, State Museums),“ Madonna and Child, John The Baptist and the Holy Archbishop ”(Boston, Museum of Fine Arts),)“ Crucifixion ”(National Gallery of Umbria, Perugia), triptych“ Madonna and Child on the Throne ”(National Museum, Prague), triptych“ Madonna Tenderness with St. Catherine and St. Christopher ”(Timken Gallery, San Diego), triptych“ Madonna Tenderness with Saints ”from the Mudzarelli family collection (Indiana University Museum, Bloomington). Due to the fact that only one dated work has been preserved from Niccolo, the reconstruction of his work and the dating of his works are rather conditional.
Since most of the works attributed to Nicolo di Bonaccorso are unsigned, the attribution of some of them has recently been revised. For example, the diptych from the Bandini Museum in Fiesole is now attributed to Jacopo di Mino del Pelicchayo; The "Madonna and Child with Saints" from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is now considered the early work of Taddeo di Bartolo, and the two small panels from the Vatican Museum, previously attributed to Niccolo, are considered the work of Master Panzano.
- M. Boscovits. “Su Niccolo di Bonaccorso, Benedetto di Bindo e la pittura senese del primo Quattrocento” in Paragone 1980
- Pia Palladino Art and Devotion in Siena After 1350: Luca di Tomme, Nicolo Di Buonaccorso, Timken Museum of Art 1998.
- Giulietta Chelazzi Dini et al. Five Centuries of Sienese Painting. From Duccio to the Birth of Baroque. Thames and Hudson, London, 1998 pp. 211-214
- Da Jacopo della Quercia a Donatello. Le arti a Siena nel primo Rinascimento, a cura di Max Seidel. Exh. cat. Federico Motta Editore, 2010, p. 366-67, 620