Master of the Osservanza Triptych

Saint Anthony Abbot Tempted by a Heap of Gold, c. 1435 Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Resurrection, c. 1445, Detroit Institute of Arts
Birth of the Virgin with other Scenes from her Life, c. 1428-39, Museo d'Arte Sacra, Asciano

The Master of the Osservanza Triptych, also known as the Osservanza Master and as the Master of Osservanza, is the name given to an Italian painter of the Sienese School active about 1430 to 1450.

The Italian scholar, Roberto Longhi, recognized that two triptychs formerly attributed to Stefano di Giovanni (il Sassetta), were the work of another hand, now generally referred to as the Master of the Osservanza Triptych. The Virgin and Child with St. Jerome and St. Ambrose (Basilica dell'Osservanza, Siena) and the Birth of the Virgin (Museo d'Arte Sacra, Asciano) are both stylisticly similar to the work of Stefano di Giovanni, but have a narrative expression that is characteristic of Late Gothic painting.

Longhi observed that another group of paintings was closely related to these works and appeared to be by the same hand. These included the predella of the Osservanza Altarpiece (Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena), a predella of St. Bartholomew (Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena), Scenes of the Passion (Vatican Museums, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Fogg Art Museum), the Resurrection (Detroit Institute of Arts), and Scenes from the Life of St. Anthony Abbot (panels in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D. C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum Wiesbaden, Germany). Additionally, the full-length painting of St. Anthony Abbot in the Louvre appears to be from another altarpiece by the same master.


  • Carli, Enzo, Sassetta e il Maestro dell'Osservanza. (I Sommi dell'Arte Italiana), Milano, Aldo Martello, 1957.
  • Fredericksen, Burton and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1972.
  • Witt Library, A checklist of painters c. 1200-1976 represented in the Witt Library, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, London, Mansell Information Publishing, 1978.

External links

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  • Detroit Institute of Arts — Established 1885 Location 5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan …   Wikipedia

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