Niccolò di Buonaccorso
(Known in Sienna in 1355-1388)
The Virgin of Humility
Panel - 45.5 x 21.5 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : RMNGP
19/12/11 - Hang - Paris, Musée du Louvre - Every month, the Département des Peintures at the Musée du Louvre features a particular painting, accompanied by a brief study available to visitors free of charge at the reception desk of the museum when entering. This "painting of the month" should, in fact, really be given much more publicity (the Louvre’s new website, unless we overlooked something, does not even mention it).
Our readers at The Art Tribune will be sure to recognize the work highlighted in December, The Virgin of Humility by Niccolò di Buonaccorso. This panel, let us remember (see news item of 15/11/10) was donated in 1976 as a promised gift to the Louvre, then bequeathed to the Ulm Museum in Germany. This establishment lost no time in putting it up for sale, at which point the Louvre was able to establish its property rights (a donated work cannot be disposed of by a third party, even if the donation is a promised gift ; see news item of 3/11/11).
Strangely enough, the excellent text explaining the work written by Victor Schmidt, completely ignores this, unusually rare, incident in the painting’s past history. The painting itself joined the Louvre in 2011, true, but no reason is given for the one year delay before it was recovered.
No matter, the most important thing is that the painting is now back. This small Siennese Madonna is without question of very fine quality and a very beautiful addition to the rich collection of Italian Primitives at the Département des Peintures.