Gondos Ernöné After Naddo Ceccarelli, Madonna & Child

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A beautiful copy of Naddo Ceccarelli’s (active 1330-1360) Madonna and Child by Hungarian painter, Gondos Ernöné. Several devotional works depicting the Madonna and Child have been attributed to Ceccarelli and the original of this particular piece is currently on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.

Naddo Ceccarelli was a gifted pupil of Sienese painter Simone Martini (c. 1284-1344) and he’s best known for creating sumptuous reliquaries using a technique known as gold-ground painting. In devotional medieval works, holy figures were often placed against gold backgrounds to symbolise their proximity to God. A layer of paint was then scratched off to create decorative effects, such as gold brocade fabric.

Prior to the 14th-century, reliquaries were usually the domain of expert goldsmiths, but Naddo Ceccarelli was one of the early pioneers in creating reliquaries using tempera over a gold-ground. Elements of his paintings often seem to gleam like actual metalwork due to his skilful incised designs.

This early 20th-century reproduction was created by Gondos Ernöné who also chose to work in tempera. It’s nicely done and faithfully carries the poignancy of the original.

Tempera on wood
20½” x 14” / 52cm x 35.5cm
Year of creation
c. 1910
Some cloudy areas on the left-hand side and various scuffs and scratches to the wood itself. A few cracks to the front of the wood but these may have existed prior to painting (and utilised for their decorative appearance).