The Madonna and Child tempera on gold ground panel 64 x 46cm (25 3/16 x 18 1/8in).
PROVENANCE: Sale, Sotheby's, London, 16 March 1966, lot 27 (bought by Salocchi) With Vittore Frascione, Florence, 1968/69 Private Italian collector and thence by descent to the present owner
LITERATURE: S. A. Fehm, 'Luca di Tommè's Influence on Three Sienese Masters: The Master of the Magdalene Legend, The Master of the Panzano Triptych, and the Master of the Pietà', Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, XX (1976), p. 348 (as Luca di Tommè) C. De Benedictis, La pittura senese 1330 - 1370 (Florence, 1979), pp. 38, 66, and 89 (as Luca di Tommè) S. A. Fehm, Luca di Tommè. A Sienese Fourteenth-Century Painter (Illinois, 1986), p. 165, cat. no. 64, ill. pl. 64 (under Doubtful Attributions and Shopworks)
A late work by Luca di Tommè, the present panel can be compared to his Madonna and Child now in the Museo Civico, Montalcino. Freuler tentatively suggests that the latter painting formed the central section of a dismembered altarpiece for a chapel in the church of San Francesco in Montalcino, which was commissioned in the 1380s. The dating of the present work to the latter part of Luca di Tomme's career is supported by the stronger, brighter palette and the relatively large proportions of the figures within the picture space.
We are grateful to Gaudenz Freuler for confirming the attribution to Luca di Tommè on the basis of a colour photograph and for suggesting a date of the 1380s.