Niccoló di Segna (active Siena, first half of the 14th Century)
The Madonna and Child tempera on gold ground panel, arched top 107 x 64cm (42 1/8 x 25 3/16in).
PROVENANCE: Acquired by William Drury Lowe of Locko Park on one of the occasions when he visited Italy with his wife between 1839 and 1865 and thence by descent to the present owner
EXHIBITED: Nottingham, University Art Gallery, Pictures from Locko Park, 1968 Nottingham, University Art Gallery, Masterpieces from Great Houses in the East Midlands, 1981
LITERATURE: J.P. Richter, Catalogue of Pictures at Locko Park (London, 1901), no. 214, p. 87 (as Manner of Duccio) L. Vertova, 'La Raccolta in Locko Park', in Antichitá Viva, vol. VII, no. 3, May-June 1968, pp. 24-26, as Niccolò di Segna A. Smart, 'The Locko Park Collection', in Apollo, vol. LXXXVII, no. 73, March 1968, p. 204, ill. fig. 2 J. Cornforth, 'A Victorian Collection re-discovered', in Country Life, vol. CXIII, no. 3703, 22 February 1968, p. 1603, ill. fig. 4 R. Calvacoressi, 'Locko Park: an important Family Collection' in The Coinnoisseur, vol. CXCII, no. 772, June 1976, p. 145 J.H. Stubblebine, Duccio di Buoninsegna and his School, 1979, vol. I, p. 154; vol. II, ill. fig. 478, as Niccoló di Segna
The Locko di Segna was painted circa 1335-40, at a point when the artist was moving away from the style of his late father, Segna di Bonaventura (one of Duccio's most accomplished students). It displays the more painterly and expressive technique that he was developing under the influence of the Lorenzetti, which can be found in its full expression in, for example, the Crucifix of 1345 in the Pinacoteca, Siena (inv. no. 46).