Attavante degli Attavanti (1452-1525)
CENSING OF CHALICE AND PATEN, initial cut from a manuscript made for Pope Leo X [Florence, c. 1520]
A striking fragment of what would once have been an imposing and sumptuous manuscript produced for Pope Leo X, illuminated by Vante di Gabriello di Vante Attavanti, also known as Attavante degli Attavanti.

‘The most famous and most representative artist of Italian miniature painting’ (M. Bollati, Dizionario Biografico dei Miniatori Italiani, 2004, pp. 975-979), Attavante’s elegant, expressive style was influenced by the work of Domenico Ghirlandaio and Antonio Pollaiuolo. His first recorded work, dated 1483, is a missal produced for Thomas James, bishop of Dol-de-Bretagne. He would go on to produce several manuscripts for Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary and the Medici family, among whom Pope Leo X, or Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, a notable patron of the arts under whose reign significant progress was made in the rebuilding of St Peter’s Basilica and redevelopment of the Vatican rooms.

The present cutting is closely associated with the Preparation for Mass of Pope Leo X, illuminated by Attavante and dated 1520 (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, Ms H.6). Two sister cuttings can be found in Poughkeepsie, Vassar College Library Special Collections (Series II, Item 40-41) and another in the Wildenstein collection at the Musée Marmottan, Paris (all three with priests at the altar and the same red-cloth wall hangings and leaded windows). On the subject, see P. Kidd, 'New Cuttings From a Missal of Leo X Illuminated by Attavante c. 1520 [Part I]', Medieval Manuscripts Provenance.

•POPE LEO X (1475-1521), born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, and son of Lorenzo il Magnifico: the red-cloth wall hanging behind the altar bears his device — a diamond ring with three feathers and the letter 'N' — in gold.
•Very likely in the Abate Celotti sale at Christie's, 26 May 1825, and purchased by William Young Ottley (1771–1836), Keeper of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum. Lots 219 and 220 in his 1838 sale were described as follows: '219: A sheet — Christ, with Emblems of the Passion, and seven small miniatures of Priests officiating at the Altar, enclosed in pieces of Border, with the Arms of Leo X; 220: Seven similar pieces of priests at the Altar'.
•Private collection, London.

85 x 75mm. Verso with three lines of text in red.

Please note this lot is the property of a private consignor.

Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
Brought to you by
Place your bid Condition report

A Christie's specialist may contact you to discuss this lot or to notify you if the condition changes prior to the sale.

I confirm that I have read this Important Notice regarding Condition Reports and agree to its terms. View Condition Report