The central panel is the most ancient. Painted in the 1330s by Bernardo Daddi, it shows the Enthroned Madonna and Child.
Bernardo had worked with Giotto and is his best follower in Florence. These fresco masters also had clients for private devotion or portable pieces and knew to transcribe their grand art into miniature formats. In this charming scene, Bernardo uses a variety of soft colors. The lines are deliberately strengthened to provide a three-dimensional illusion.
The top and side pictures and the predellas were added about 30 years later and are attributed to the Misericordia Master who was the leading painter in Florence after the plague of 1348 in which Bernardo died. His name was not found.
These additional panels are shaped to match the gesso frame that has certainly been assembled at the same time for an unknown customer who can perhaps be identified by the coats of arms in the predellas.
The altar is now dominated by God the Father. On each side in symmetry, a pair of angels are ascending to God while trying to contemplate Him. The most daring, forward, overcomes the glare of light by using a dark glass. The other, still behind, has not found the solution and masks his eyes with his hand. This rare theme had previously adorned the pinnacle of a monumental altar by Giotto.
I invite you to watch the video shared by Christie's.
SOLD for $ 3.9M including premium