This panel, along with two others by the Sienese artist
Originally, this painting of Saint Peter would have appeared on the left. He holds the keys to heaven, but would have been recognized without that by his yellow robe and distinctive curly gray hair and beard. Above him is Saint James Major, known by his pilgrim’s staff, and inset into the panel on the opposite side is
This panel was originally part of a
A picture consisting of three parts. The term denotes both the object itself and its compositional form. As an object, the triptych may vary in size and material, but usually consists of a central panel flanked by wings (or shutters), which may be hinged; as a compositional form it is a tripartite structure, often with an emphasized central element. Although its imagery was, until the 19th century at least, predominantly religious, the object as such was not tied to a specific function. —Victor M. Schmidt, Grove Art © Oxford University Press
The post-Byzantine term of Glykophilousa Virgin is used in the art historical literature to indicate a subtype of a wider iconographic group known under the name of Eleousa (compassionate) Virgin, in which the theme of affection between mother and son is predominant. Cf. Gregor Martin Lechner, “Maria,” in Reallexikon zur byzantinischen Kunst, ed. Klaus Wessel,” 7 vols. (Stuttgart, 2005), 6:17–114; also Nancy Ševčenko Patterson, “Virgin eleousa,” in The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, ed. Aleksandr Petrovich Kazhdan (New York, 1991), 3:2171. For the gesture of the child as allusion to suckling, cf. Dorothy C. Shorr, The Christ Child in Devotional Images in Italy during the XIV Century (New York, 1954), 146–148.
See George Kaftal, Saints in Italian Art, vol. 1, Iconography of the Saints in Tuscan Painting (Florence, 1952), 800, 508, 61–64, respectively.
The dalmatic worn by the youthful saint indicates merely that he was a deacon, while the palm branch in his hand is the symbol of martyrdom; he therefore represents a martyr deacon saint, not necessarily Stephen or Vincent, with whom F. Mason Perkins attempted to identify him. F. Mason Perkins, “Su alcune pitture di Martino di Bartolomeo,” Rassegna d’arte senese 18 (1924): 12.
F. Mason Perkins saw the three panels in a private collection in London in 1924 and then published them under the name of Martino di Bartolomeo, thus confirming the attribution formulated by the panels’ owner.
See Provenance note 1.
See National Gallery of Art, Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture (Washington, DC, 1965), 83; National Gallery of Art, European Paintings and Sculpture: Illustrations (Washington, DC, 1968), 74, 158; National Gallery of Art, European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue (Washington, DC, 1975), 216–217; Fern Rusk Shapley, Catalogue of the Italian Paintings, 2 vols. (Washington, DC, 1979), 1:302–303. All cited the painting as “attributed to Martino di Bartolomeo.” Fern Rusk Shapley added, “If by him, the date is probably earlier than his polyptych in the Museo Civico, Pisa, signed and dated 1403,” since, she explained, “the latter is somewhat more lively in expression.” See also Carol Montfort Molten, The Sienese Painter Martino di Bartolomeo (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1992), 89–90.
F. Mason Perkins, “Su alcune pitture di Martino di Bartolomeo,” Rassegna d’arte senese 18 (1924): 12; Raimond van Marle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, vol. 2, The Sienese School of the 14th Century (The Hague, 1924), 590; Raimond van Marle, Le scuole della pittura italiana, vol. 2, La scuola senese del XIV secolo (The Hague, 1934), 646, 648 n; Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, MA, 1972), 122; Mojmir Svatopluk Frinta, Punched Decoration on Late Medieval Panel and Miniature Painting (Prague, 1998) 326, 408; Silvia Colucci, “L'iconografia del crocifisso con i dolenti in umiltà: Una questione aperta,” in Il Crocifisso con i dolenti in umiltà di Paolo di Giovanni Fei: Un capolavoro riscoperto, ed. Alessandro Bagnoli, Silvia Colucci, and Veronica Randon (Siena, 2005), 48.
As for its date of execution, most of the opinions expressed on the matter have accepted van Marle’s (1924) hypothesis.
Raimond van Marle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, vol. 2, The Sienese School of the 14th Century (The Hague, 1924), 590.
Fern Rusk Shapley, Catalogue of the Italian Paintings, 2 vols. (Washington, DC, 1979), 1:302–303.
Carol Montfort Molten, The Sienese Painter Martino di Bartolomeo (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1992), 89.
The altarpiece in question consists of the Madonna and Child with Saints Lawrence, Barnabas, Augustine, and Ansano, now in the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Siena (no. 160); a Crucifixion, now in the El Paso Museum of Art (no. 61.1.7, Samuel H. Kress Collection); and four stories of Saint Barnabas in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (no. 1945–25–120). See Carl Brandon Strehlke, Italian Paintings, 1250–1450, in the John G. Johnson Collection and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, 2004), 242–247.
The three panels in question (Saints Stephen, Mary Magdalene, and Anthony Abbot) come from a dispersed polyptych reframed to form an ensemble and hence cited as a triptych. Cf. Bernard Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools, 3 vols. (London, 1968), 2: fig. 433; Fabio Bisogni, Marco Ciampolini, and Elisabetta Avanzati, Guide to the Civic Museum of Siena (Siena, 1986), 119. The date 1408 attributed to these paintings seems devoid of foundation; see Carol Montfort Molten, The Sienese Painter Martino di Bartolomeo (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1992), 254–255.
Carol Montfort Molten, The Sienese Painter Martino di Bartolomeo (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1992), 90.
The doubts about Martino’s authorship of the triptych have never been clearly explained, nor does the judgment of the ostensibly limited qualitative level of the Washington panels seem well founded. It may be admitted that Martino was not one of the leading masters active in Lucca, Pisa, and Siena between the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth century. In particular, his frescoes in the
Small chapel or building for private prayer and, by extension, a faldstool (cushioned stool) at which a worshipper kneels for prayer. —Grove Art © Oxford University Press
See Maria Laura Cristiani Testi, Affreschi biblici di Martino di Bartolomeo in San Giovanni Battista di Cascina (Pisa, 1978).
Type of object with several panels, usually an altarpiece, although it may also fulfil other functions. The polyptych normally consists of a central panel with an even number of side-panels, which are sometimes hinged to fold. Although in principle every object with two panels or more may be called a polyptych, the word is normally used as a general term for anything larger than a triptych. As with diptychs and triptychs, the size and material can vary. —Victor M. Schmidt, Grove Art © Oxford University Press
See Enzo Carli, Il Museo di Pisa (Pisa, 1974), 63–64.
The artist’s style changed after his return to Siena and after his frescoes in the Sala di Balia at the Palazzo Pubblico (1404–1407) in that city.
Gabriele Borghini, “La decorazione,” in Palazzo pubblico di Siena: Vicende costruttive e decorazione, ed. Cesare Brandi (Siena, 1983), 226, figs. 270–273.
The four panels of no. 120 in the Pinacoteca Nazionale of Siena, respectively representing Saints James, Catherine of Alexandria, Mary Magdalene, and Ansano, have been convincingly linked with a Madonna and Child formerly in the Bonichi collection at Asciano and later in the Fossati Bellani collection in Milan, which bears the date 1408. For these paintings see, respectively, Piero Torriti, La Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena, vol. 1, I dipinti dal XII al XV secolo (Genoa, 1977), 217; and Luciano Berti, “Note brevi su inediti toscani,” Bollettino d’arte 37 (1952): 256–258.
Term used to denote, since the 15th century, the architecture and, from the 19th century onward, all the visual arts of Europe during a period extending by convention from about 1120 to c. 1400 in central Italy, and until the late 15th century and even well into the 16th century in northern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula. The early gothic style overlapped chronologically with Romanesque and flourished after the onset of Renaissance art in Italy and elsewhere. The term gothic is applied to western European painting of the 13th century to the early 15th century. Unlike gothic architecture, it is distinguished more by developments in style and function than in technique, and even in these areas there is considerable national and regional diversity. The applicability of the term to Italian painting is debated, as is its usefulness in accounting for developments in Netherlandish painting from the early 15th century. Contact with Byzantine art was close in the early 13th century, but after c. 1250 survived principally in the Holy Roman Empire and Italy. —Peter Kidson, Grove Art © Oxford University Press
This must, however, have been a relatively brief phase. In paintings that can be dated to his last decades of life, Martino, without forgetting the experiences of the years between roughly 1405 and 1415, and without wholly rejecting the models proposed by Taddeo di Bartolo (with whom he fell out; indeed, Martino was fined in 1412 for slandering him),
In August 1412, Martino was forced to pay a fine for “cierte parole che il detto maestro Martino disse ingiuriose a maestro Taddeo di Bartolo” (certain derogatory words that the said master Martino addressed to master Taddeo di Bartolo). See Scipione Borghesi Bichi and Luciano Banchi, Nuovi documenti per la storia dell’arte senese (Siena, 1898), 112; Carol Montfort Molten, The Sienese Painter Martino di Bartolomeo (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1992), 290.
See Ada Labriola, in Maestri senesi e toscani nel Lindenau-Museum di Altenburg, ed. Miklós Boskovits and Johannes Tripps (Siena, 2008), 98–100. The paintings in question, formerly belonging to the Society of the Cincinnati, Anderson House, Washington DC, were sold at auction at Christie’s, London, July 11, 2001, lot 72.
For Benedetto and his frescoes painted in San Domenico in Perugia between 1415 and 1417, cf. Giordana Benazzi, “Le opere d’arte del Medioevo,” in La Basilica di San Domenico di Perugia, ed. Giuseppe Rocchi Coopmans De Yoldi and Giulio Ser-Giacomi (Perugia, 2006), 333–334; for Gregorio, the perceptive essay by Luciano Bellosi (“Gregorio di Cecco di Luca”) in Il gotico a Siena: Miniature, pitture, oreficerie, oggetti d’arte (Florence, 1982), 346–348.
Miklós Boskovits (1935–2011)
March 21, 2016
Private collection, London, by 1924. Samuel L. Fuller [1875-1963], New York; gift 1950 to NGA.
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- Perkins, F. Mason. "Su alcune pitture di Martino di Bartolomeo." Rassegna d’arte senese 18 (1924): 12, repro.
- Marle, Raimond van. Le scuole della pittura italiana. 2 vols. The Hague and Florence, 1932-1934: 2(1934):646, 648 n.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 83.
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 74, repro.
- Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 122, 312, 370, 403, 440, 647.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 216, repro.
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- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 251, repro.
- Molten, Carol Montfort. "The Sienese Painter Martino di Bartolomeo." Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1992. Ann Arbor, MI, 1996: 89-90, 260.
- Frinta, Mojmír S. Punched Decoration on Late Medieval Panel and Miniature Painting. Prague, 1998: 326, 408.
- Colucci, Silvia. "L’iconografia del crocifisso con i dolenti in umiltà: una questione aperta." In Il Crocifisso con i dolenti in umiltà di Paolo di Giovanni Fei: un capolavoro riscoperto. Edited by Alessandro Bagnoli, Silvia Colucci and Veronica Radon. Exh. cat. Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena, 2005: 48.