Gregorio di Cecco ( Italian: Gregorio di Cecco ; known from 1418 to 1424 ) - Italian artist, Siena school .
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There is very little information about Gregorio. It is known that he was the adopted son and pupil of Taddeo di Bartolo , worked in his workshop, and the only reliable work is the altar, which he painted in 1423 for the chapel of Francesco Tolomei in the Siena Cathedral, on which is signed. At the beginning of the 20th century, he was confused with Giorgio di Checo di Lucha, mentioned in documents, since Milanesi incorrectly transcribed the name Gregorio in 1853.
For the first time, his name was mentioned in 1418, when the artist received 4 liras for painting a tavoletta - a book cover for the reports of Bikkerna, the financial department of Siena (the cover was not preserved). In 1420, together with Taddeo di Bartolo, he worked on the altar for the Marescotti chapel in the Siena church of San Agostino. On the altar was his signature, but the work itself has not reached our time. It is known that this altar consisted of a statue of the Madonna del Magnificat, created by the sculptor Giovanni di Turino (preserved), and paintings painted by Gregorio di Cecco. In the same 1420, Gregorio painted a fresco in the church of dei Servi con le anime and "Madonna and Child" for the altar in the church of Santa Chiara.
On October 15, 1421, Gregorio formed a joint venture with Taddeo di Bartolo for a period of 10 years, as indicated in the contract. After that, Gregorio began to live in the house of his partner, paying his wife Monne Simonine from 12 to 16 florins a year for food and accommodation. Their agreement stipulated that in the performance of any work, each of the artists would be free and independent. On August 26, 1422, shortly before his death, Taddeo di Bartolo drew up a will in which he declared Gregorio his sole heir, reflecting the respect and affection that connected the two artists. The will of Taddeo di Bartolo states that Gregorio, by then already a full partner, is the adopted son and heir to the property of Taddeo di Bartolo in the event of his death (Taddeo died in 1422). In 1422, Gregorio worked as one of the consultants in the construction of the Siena church of San Paolo and its indoor gallery.
On April 11, 1423, the artist married Jacop, daughter of the Siena sculptor Domenico di Niccolo de Cori (1363-1453), with whom he worked in the chapel of the Tolomei of the Siena Cathedral.
In the same 1423, he completed work on the polyptych for the chapel of Tolomei, on which he left the date and signature. On the central panel of this altar, Gregorio di Cecco portrayed the Madonna and Child with six angels, and on either side of it are Saints Augustine, John the Baptist and the Apostles Peter and Paul, above which are four evangelists. The artist depicted saints Biagio (St. Blasius) and Ansanius, as well as the archangel Gabriel, proclaiming Mary about the birth of Christ (Turin, a private collection) on the pinnacles. Researchers note that this polyptych was the first in Siena, in which the central panel carried the image of the Madonna of Humility . In all likelihood, the artist borrowed the image from Ambrogio Lorenzetti with his Madonna del Latte (Archbishop's Seminary, Siena), and facial types continue the tradition laid down by Simone Martini. Gregorio's teacher, Taddeo di Bartolo, also adhered to this tradition.
Regarding the rest, unsigned, the artist's works there are discrepancies. Cesare Brandi ascribes to Gregorio di Cecco a small picture of unknown origin and poor preservation with the image of John the Theologian from the Siena Pinacoteca. Enzo Carly considered his work a small tabernacle depicting the Annunciation and Crucifixion from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Miklos Boskovits denied both attributions and attributed the artist’s brushes to Madonna from the Johnson collection (Philadelphia, Museum of Art). Andrea De Marqui ascribes to Gregorio a small “Adoration of the Magi” from a private collection, Switzerland, and the Golgotha banner (Crucifixion / Mourning of Christ) from the Siena Pinacoteca, which others attribute to Benedetto di Bindo . Gaudenz Froiler attributes his brush to a small triptych depicting Crucifixion with Saints, which Boskovitz and Everett Faji attribute to Paolo di Giovanni Fey (sold at Sotheby's in 2008 for £ 49,250).
The date of death of the artist is not known. On July 1, 1424, Simonina, the widow of Taddeo di Bartolo, ordered the transfer of the property of Gregorio to his brother Andrea, from which we can conclude that Gregorio di Cecco was no longer alive at this point.
The altar of Tolomei has not reached our days completely. This is the only reliably attributed work of the wizard. The main part of the work is stored in the Siena Cathedral: Madonna and Child with Angels, St. Augustine, John the Baptist, the Apostles Peter and Paul, two pinnacles with images of St. Biagio and St. Ansania and the top in the form of the Ascension of Mary. The polyptych has the inscription GREGORIUS DE SENIS PINXIT HOC ANNI D (OMINI) M.CCCCXXIII (Gregorio from Siena wrote in 1423 from R. H.). The polyptych was intended for the chapel of Tolomei, built by order of Francesco di Biagio Tolomei, canon of the Cathedral of Siena. Construction began in 1422 and completed in 1424. The documents of the cathedral of the XV-XVI centuries indicate that the work of Gregorio adorned the altar of this chapel, but in the XVII century the chapel was destroyed, and the polyptych was probably dismantled. Subsequently, some of its parts ended up in different museums. Of the five details of the predella, today only three are known: “The Nativity of Our Lady” (Vatican, Pinacotheca), “Crucifixion” (Siena, Pinacotheca) and “Betrothal of Mary” (National Gallery, London). There are also two missing details of the pinnacle finial depicting the scene of the Annunciation: “The Annunciation Angel” (Turin, private collection) and “The Annunciation Mother of God” (Stibbert Museum, Florence). Researchers of his work note that, despite the obvious similarities between the works of Gregorio and the works of his teacher, they are characterized by a more subtle and refined style, as well as a more refined color scheme.
Altar of Tolomei. Reconstruction.
Gregorio di Cecco. Polyptych of Tolomei. 1423g. Siena, the cathedral.
Nativity of Our Lady. Vatican, Pinacoteca.
Crucifixion. Siena, Cathedral Museum
Gregorio di Cecco. Betrothal Mary. Panel predela. c. 1420 London, NG
Angel of the Annunciation. Turin, private collection.
The Blessed Virgin. Florence, Stibbert Museum.
- E. Carli, Il Museo dell'Opera e la Libreria Piccolomini di Siena, Siena 1946, pp. 56 s., 62 s.
- C. Brandi, Quattrocentisti senesi, Milano 1949, pp. 36, 184, 249, 251 s .;
- P. Torriti, La Pinacoteca nazionale di Siena. I dipinti dal XII al XV secolo, I, Genova 1977, p. 209;
- M. Boskovits, Su Niccolò di Buonaccorso, Benedetto di Bindo e la pittura senese del primo Quattrocento, in Paragone, XXXI (1980), 359-361, pp. 10, 20 s .;
- G. Corti, La compagnia di Taddeo di Bartolo e G. di C., con altri documenti inediti, in Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, XXV (1981), pp. 373-377;
- E. Neri Lusanna, Un episodio di collaborazione tra scultori e pittori nella Siena del primo Quattrocento: la "Madonna del Magnificat" di S. Agostino, ibid., Pp. 325-340;
- A. Bagnoli, in Il gotico a Siena (catal.), Siena 1982, p. 355; L. Bellosi, ibid., Pp. 294, 346-348;
- R. Bartalini, in Antichi maestri pittori. 18 opere dal 1350 al 1520 (catal.), Torino 1987, n. ten;
- C. Alessi, in La pittura in Italia. Il Quattrocento, II, Milano 1987, p. 652 (con bibl.);
- Giulietta Chelazzi Dini. Five Centuries Of Sienese Painting (From Duccio to the Birth of the Baroque). Thames & Hudson. 1998. pp. 209–211
- Da Jacopo della Quercia a Donatello. Le arti a Siena nel primo Rinascimento, a cura di Max Seidel. Exh. cat. Federico Motta Editore, 2010, pp. 126–137, 620