Panel of reliquary diptych with Crucifixion and saints

Not since the Detroit Institute of Arts acquired its reliquary diptych wing in 1994 has Gothic verre églomisé of this caliber come to the market. Part of the famous collection of the Barons Thyssen-Bornemisza since the 1920s, the panel has not been seen in public for decades. It has appeared in several publications that have attempted to locate these exceedingly fragile and therefore rare works of art. The present diptych wing is distinguished by the captivating free and graphical manner with which the gilding on the glass has been incised. This particular quality of the draughtsmanship establishes a hitherto unexplored relationship with a series of verre églomisé roundels set in the frame of The Virgin and Child by the Sienese painter Paolo di Giovanni Fe (active 1369-1411) from the 1370s in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a gilt glass pane with Christ as the Man of Sorrows attributed to a Florentine artist working around 1400 in the same museum, suggesting that this panel stems from that great center of Italian artistic production: Tuscany.

Italian, probably Siena,
circa 1370–1390
Right panel of a reliquary diptych with the Crucifixion and saints
Gilt wood with pastiglia decoration, set with five verres églomisées
22.1 by 15.7 cm.