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An intriguing 14th century Italian painting at Hampel in Munich

July 4, 2017

14th century Italian School, possibly Francesco di Antonio da Ancona,
active ca. 1383 – 1393
Oil, tempera and gold ground on softwood: 31 x 21 cm.
In gilt 19th century aedicule frame.
Estimate: €15,000-30,000.

Munich’s Hampel auction house opens its July 5, 2017 Old Masters sale with a late 14th century panel painting, possibly by the Italian artist Francesco di Antonio da Ancona.  The subject and iconography – Noli Me Tangere – is familiar in medieval Western European art dating to late antiquity, and appear in illuminated manuscripts from France and Germany (below).

Noli Me Tangere
from a Gospel Book
German, c. 1015
Hildesheim, Hildesheim Cathedral Museum
MS DS 18, fol. 75v

Master Henri, Noli Me Tangere
from Livre d’Images de Madame Marie
Belgian (Hainault), 1285-1290
Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France
MS Nouvelle acquistion francaise 16251, fol. 45v

Noli Me Tangere
Nine Leaves from a Psalter
German (Augsburg), 1225-1250
New York, Pierpont Morgan Library
MS M275, fol. 7v















The image comes from John 20:17, when Mary Magdelene sees the resurrected Christ, and the Latin “noli me tangere” translates approximately to “do not touch me.”

Direct 14th century predecessors to the Hampel painting include works by Duccio and Giotto, and the Hampel painting seems an iconographic hybrid of the two.

Duccio, Noli me tangere, 1308-11
Tempera on wood: 51 x 57 cm
Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Siena

Giotto, Noli me tangere, 1304-1306
Scrovegni Chapel, Padua

The best know work by Francesco di Antonio da Ancona can be found in the Pushkin Museum.  It is the only known signed work by the artist.

Francesco di Antonio da Ancona, Madonna and Child with Saints
Height: 1,990 mm (78.35 in). Width: 2,380 mm (93.7 in).
Click on image to enlarge.































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