Two Cimabue Panels Reunited in US for the First Time in Cimabue and Early Italian Devotional Painting, October 3 through December 31, 2006
For the first time in America, The Frick Collection will reunite two diminutive, jewel-like panels by the early Italian Renaissance master Cimabue: The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Two Angels from the National Gallery in London and the Frick’s Flagellation of Christ. Technical and stylistic studies reveal that these two paintings once formed part of the same ensemble featuring various scenes from the life of Christ. Discovered in a private collection in Britain in 2000, the National Gallery panel was immediately recognized as a work by Cimabue, an attribution that confirmed the authorship of the Frick panel. The Virgin and Child Enthroned and The Flagellation of Christ are the only known small-scale works by Cimabue, and they survive as a unique testament to this artist’s exploration of narrative devotional painting. To contextualize the discovery of the Cimabue panels’ kinship, the installation will also feature representative examples of devotional art from early Renaissance Italy. Several altarpieces, manuscripts, and verre églomisé (customarily reverse-painted glass, but in this case gilding is used) loaned from New York collections will illustrate the various small-scale media and narrative presentations with which Cimabue and his contemporaries experimented. During her tenure as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Frick, Holly Flora, presently Curator of the Museum of Biblical Art, coordinated this Cabinet installation in conjunction with Associate Curator Denise Allen. It has been generously underwritten by Jon and Barbara Landau. Additional support has been provided by The Council of The Frick Collection and The Helen Clay Frick Foundation. The publication is made possible, in part, by Lawrence and Julie Salander. With the Frick as the exclusive US venue, Cimabue and Early Italian Devotional Painting follows a large exhibition on the artist shown to great acclaim in spring 2005 at the Museo di San Matteo in Pisa, as well as a dossier exhibition reuniting the Cimabue panels at the National Gallery in London in the fall of 2005.