Moretti Fine Art to exhibit Renaissance work not seen publicly for centuries 

An altar panel by Renaissance painter Sano Ciampanti that had been hidden away for centuries will be on display at the Moretti Fine Art gallery for the rest of June.  

The long tale of the altar panel, which features Saint Jerome, Saint Joseph and the man who commissioned it, a priest called Clemente di Antonio Andrucci, begins in 1498, when artist Sano Ciampanti created it specifically to be displayed at the Cathedral of San Martino in Lucca, Italy.  

The piece remained faithfully installed until about 1595, when it was removed from the church. It was possibly sold at this point, but it is not entirely clear to whom or where exactly it went. When it next resurfaced, the work passed through several prestigious art collections, starting with that of the Reverend Walter Davenport Bromley in England, before going to Germany, Austria, and later the United States.  


The origins of the piece were obscured by time though, and its story wasn’t fully revealed until research by Francesca Rafanelli, which was recently undertaken on behalf of the Galleria Moretti. 

Rafanelli tracked down the identity of the artist, who for years had been a point of discussion. Before definitively finding out it was Ciampanti, the work had been attributed at different times to Andrea del Verrocchio and Michelangelo di Pietro, also known as the Master of the Lathrop Tondo.  


The image combines the Florentine tradition of the age, employed by artists such as Botticelli, with Flemish attention to detail found in other Lucchese painters of the period. The use of colour and bold lines makes it particularly stunning.  

The full Sano Ciampanti’s alterpiece from 1498. Image courtesy of Moretti Fine Art

The rarity of finding such a work as pristine as this cannot be exaggerated. It is in an exceptionally good state of preservation, with colours vibrant and the wood intact.  


Now, the Saint Jerome, Saint Joseph and Clemente di Antonio Andrucci altar piece is in the hands of Moretti Fine Art, found at 27 Avenue de la Costa in Monaco, where it will be exhibited publicly from 15th to 30th June for the first time in hundreds of years.  

Admission is free and the gallery is open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm. For more information, please click here.


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