This is a fragment of a dismantled polyptych, or multi-paneled altarpiece. It probably originally had pinnacles, within which would have been painted angels or Old Testament figures. Below may have been a predella, or base, painted with scenes from the life of Christ, or from the lives of the saints depicted above. The polyptych was a popular type of altarpiece in the 14th century. The central panels often depicted the Madonna and Child as devotion to the Virgin Mary, who acted as intercessor between the worshipper and Christ, intensified during the 1300s.
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- Titles Madonna and Christ Child with a Bishop Saint, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Michael and an Unidentified Saint (Proper)
- Artist Goodhart-Ducciesque Master, Italy, active first quarter of the 14th century
- Medium tempera on panel
- Dimensions Bishop: 23 5/8 × 13 3/8 in. (60 × 34 cm) St. John the Baptist: 24 1/4 × 13 1/4 in. (61.6 × 33.7 cm) Madonna and Child: 29 3/8 × 19 1/8 in. (74.6 × 48.6 cm) St. Michael: 23 5/8 × 13 1/4 in. (60 × 33.7 cm) Saint: 23 5/8 × 13 1/4 in. (60 × 33.7 cm) frame: 34 5/8 × 80 × 4 5/8 in. (87.9 × 203.2 × 11.7 cm)
- Credit Line Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.104
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Signature Unsigned
- Marks None
- Inscription Recto, on St. John's scroll, paint: ECCE AGNUS DEI / ECCE QUI TOLLIS PECCATA di M(UNDI)
- Provenance Probably private collection, Tuscany [see note 1]. With Count Alessandro Contini-Bonacossi (1878-1955), Florence; purchased by Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955), New York, March 13, 1941 as Contemporary of Duccio; on loan to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1952; gift of the Kress Foundation to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1961
1. William E. Suida, Birmingham Museum of Art: The Samuel H. Kress Collection (Birmingham: Birmingham Museum of Art, 1952), p. 15. Suida writes, "This painting was long secluded in an ancient Tuscan villa where F. Mason Perkins saw it." Perkins (1874-1955) was an American collector and scholar of early Italian Renaissance art.