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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mazzolino Painting Discovered During Appraisal

A Ludovico Mazzolino painting created in 1522 was discovered recently in an English home by pure accident, proving that appraisals can bring not only guaranteed benefits in documenting one’s wealth but also an occasional surprise. The homeowner originally called his local personal property appraiser out to his home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire UK to look at various pieces of glass and china. The appraiser noted that he “came to the house and it was all nice stuff – but not what you’d call exceptional.” This all changed when he happened upon a photograph of the Mazzolino piece and sent it along to experts who ultimately identified it as an Old Master original.

The piece, depicting Mary and Joseph with an infant Jesus between them, was found to have been last sold at auction in 1812 where it was sold for 20 GBP. The owner is again preparing to put the piece up for auction but is expected to get much more for the piece, as much as 60,000 GBP (approx. $98, 039.14 USD). Apparently, the collector obtained the painting through his great grandmother who bought it in Italy in 1862. Considering the piece’s exceptional quality and authorship the owner hopes that after it is sold at auction it will be put on display for the public to enjoy, a far cry from its two hundred years spent in hiding.

Slaugher of the Innocents by Ludovico Mazzolino, Uffizi Gallery

For those who are curious, Ludovico Mazzolino was an Italian Renaissance painter born in 1480 who studied in Bologna and specialized in creating frescoes, triptychs and paintings for churches. His style was very much defined by Jacopo de Barbari and Lorenzo Lotto who drew their stylistic tendencies from German Old Masters. Art historians have also noted that the artist incorporated stylistic elements typical of Venetian painting, leading to speculation that the artist was in contact with the Venetian master Giorgione. The work is refreshingly asymmetrical and anti-classical, indicating that he was a continental artist with an understanding of various approaches to painting throughout Renaissance Europe. Mazzolino died at 49, one of the millions claimed by the plague. Mazzolino has a number of pieces at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and his artworks have always been in high demand, with one painting selling for an excess of 300,000 GBP (approx. $490, 261.29 USD) in 2005.

Among our many services, appraisers at MIR Appraisal Services also make home/on-site visits and would be happy to visit you and inspect your artwork and fine items for appraisal or consultation. The on-site appointment option is the most effective for clients who have a great deal of artwork and to whom transporting their valuables is not an option. The on-site visit gives the client an opportunity to interact more completely with the appraiser and affords them the opportunity to inquire about objects that they would have otherwise not brought to the MIR office in downtown Chicago. Given the seemingly frequent but always exceptional encounters with hidden pieces of high value and importance, it is the best way of discovering your hidden treasures, accounted for or not.

Justin Bergquist

MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.

Chicago, IL 60601


Works Cited:

Leoncini, Luca. “Mazzolino, Ludovico” in Oxford Art Online.


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    Chicago, Illinois, United States
    Welcome to our blog site! MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. is a fine art and personal property appraisal company dedicated to serving clients throughout the United States and abroad since our incorporation in Chicago in 1994. We specialize in the multi-faceted field of appraising fine art, jewelry, antiques, and decorative items. We also provide professional fine art restoration and conservation treatment for various media, including but not limited to, artworks on canvas, board, masonite, and paper. We offer professional and precise appraisal services carried out by our team of accredited appraisers for the purposes of insurance coverage and claims, charitable donations, estate planning and probate, equitable distribution and fair-market value. We started our art commentary blog site as a venue for colleagues and fellow art enthusiasts to share their experiences within the art community.