Rossello di Jacopo Franchi, The Virgin and Child with SS John the Baptist, Stephen, Catherine and ?Anthony Abbot

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All Rights Reserved)


Country House
Mells Manor
The Virgin and Child with SS John the Baptist, Stephen, Catherine and ?Anthony Abbot
? c.1430
Medium and support
Tempera and gold leaf on wood
Overall height: 108 cm, Overall width: 55 cm
Rossello di Jacopo Franchi (c.1377-1458)
Catalogue Number


As far as this writer is aware there has been no prior publication of the present painting. It is, with virtual certainty, as Dr Laurence Kanter suggests,1 a stand-alone tabernacle rather than the central panel of a small triptych but a technical examination of its physical structure would be desirable.

 There can be no doubt about the attribution of this painting to Rossello di Jacopo Franchi, since it has all his distinctive qualities. He is a difficult artist to date but Mr Christopher Daly has kindly suggested a date of c.1430. He writes that the ‘forms seem to fall between the more contoured figures in his Coronation of the Virgin at the Accademia in Florence dated 1420, and the softer Coronation in the Pinacoteca of Siena, dated 1439’. Mr Daly adds: ‘Certainly they are much removed from the sharper and more “gothic” quality of the Saint Blaise in Florence Cathedral, from 1408, or the Crucifix in Rovezzano, dated 1414 or 1419’.2 By contrast Dr Kanter believes that this panel was painted in the second decade of the century, not long after Rossello left Starnina’s workshop, c.1410–15. The present writer is inclined to accept the earlier date but has not yet been able to make the necessary comparisons.


by Paul Joannides


Oliver Garnett, 'The Letters and Collection of William Graham: Pre-Raphaelite Patron and Pre-Raphael Collector', The Walpole Society, vol. 62, 2000, d277, p. 331 (WG inventory 400: £25/sale 308, bought Agnew [3903], 16 guineas)


  1. Dr Laurence Kanter, private communication, 2020.

  2. Christopher Daly, personal communication with the author, 2020.


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