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Fra Angelico and Early Florentine Renaissance Painting in the John G.

Johnson Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Author(s): Carl Brandon Strehlke Source: Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin, Vol. 88, No. 376, Fra Angelico (Spring, 1993), pp. 1+4-26 Published by: Philadelphia Museum of Art Stable URL: . Accessed: 09/02/2014 19:35
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Philadelphia Museum ofArt


Fra Angelico
Fra Angelicoand EarlyFlorentine in the Renaissance Painting JohnG. Johnson Collectionat the Museum ofArt Philadelphia
Carl BrandonStrehIke Adjunct Curator Collection JohnG.Johnson

A Note on the Conservation ofFraAngelico's SaintFrancis ofAssisi

David Skipsey Assistant Conservator ofPaintings, Reinstallation Project Museum Philadelphia ofArt

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Fig. I born Guido FraAngelico, di Pietro(Fra Giovanni da Fiesole) Italian, Florence;first documented securely I4I7, died I455 Predella panel: Dormition oftheVirgin
C. 1427

and Tempera, silver, tooledgold on poplar

I0A/16X 209/16"

x 52.2 cm) CollecJohnG. Johnson tionat thePhiladelphia MuseumofArt, cat. no. i5


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Fra Angelico and Early Florentine Renaissance Painting in the John G. Johnson Collection Carl BrandonStrehlke
it and brought thehumanfigure celebrated withitssurroundings, contact intotangible thatencould also servea sacredimagery conto overcome its viewers corporal joined the existence comprising cernsfora spiritual to histime Andproof is thatfrom and contemplation. ofthis ourtimes. ofprayer rigors Dormition restored recently Angelico's who andpainters sculptors nowall themostfamous ofAssisi (fig.i) and SaintFrancis oftheVirgin excellent in this chapel became andstudied practiced Collection (fig.i i) in theJohnG. Johnson da include Fra Giovanni andillustrious, andthey MuseumofArtare early at thePhiladelphia to adapt [Angelico] . ... Fiesole of thepainter's struggle examples languageto thedenew artistic Florence's aspirations. mandsof hisown devotional documented securely Guido di Pietro(first David Skipsey by recent restoration Their as he was I4I7; died I455), or FraAngelico, invites 27-28) DeMuzio pp. (see and David hisdeath, was after first calleda fewyears of these the previously of place examination guild and registered an activepainter already artisin thecharged masterpieces underrated bein Florence when,sometime member Renaissance life of and early tic religious theDomintweenI 4 I 7 and 1423, he entered Florence. convent of San ican Observant, or reform, Domenico in Fiesole,nearFlorence.He was DORMITION OF THE VIRGIN in hismid-twenties, and took thenameFra whichdepicts oftheVirgin, The Dormition just as he Giovanni. Duringthenextyears, into and herassumption funeral Mary's strict had been drawnto theObservants' sceneof a predella was thecentral heaven, he becameattracted to thenew spirituality, in the that was disassembled of an altarpiece in the manifested style pictorial Florentine The predella comprised, century. eighteenth workofMasaccio (I401-1428). Angelico Freeing theGreat left SaintJames to right, from thatMasaccio'sart,whichopenly understood andmasters have ceaselessly draftsmen Countless Chapel. . . . [Masaccio's] Brancacci] visited [the most ofall because praise, boundless efforts deserve of manner about the beautiful brought hismastery
Fig. 2 FraAngelico Predellapanel: Saint James theGreat Freeing Hermogenes
C. 1427

Temperaand tooled gold on poplar IO x 8Y8'(25.4 x 22.5 cm) KimbellArtMuseum, FortWorth, no. API986.03 Fig. 3 FraAngelico Predellapanel: The Naming ofJohn theBaptist
C. I427

Temperaand tooled gold on poplar

I/4 X 93/4

cm) Museo Nazionale di San Marco,Florence, Uffizi 1499 Fig. 4 FraAngelico Predellapanel: TheMeetDominic and ingofSaints Francis ofAssisi
C. 1427

(27.3 X 24.9

Temperaand tooled gold on poplar

I102 X I 08'

M. H. de Young MemorialMuseum,The Fine ArtsMuseumsof San Giftof the Francisco, Samuel H. KressFoundation, 6i.44.7

(26.7 x 25.7 cm)

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Fig. 5 Fra Angelico Predella panel: SaintJames theGreat

C. I427

Temperaand tooled gold on poplar 15 X 12%" (38 x 32 cm) Locationunknown

Hermogenes (fig.2) in theKimbellArtMuthe seum; TheNaming ofJohn Baptist (fig.3) in theMuseo Nazionale di San Marco;the TheMeeting Johnson Collection's Dormition; of Saints Dominic andFrancis ofAssisi(fig.4) in theM. H. de YoungMemorialMuseum;and a lostpanel.2 That theexisting panelsbelong is clearbecauseof their similar together style, dimensions the (each panelwas also cutacross withchamfered top),and gold borders edges. A comparison forthescenes'original consoon abandoned figuration, byAngelicoin favor ofrectangular is thepredella of fields,


hisAnnunciation altarpiece from theconventualchurch of San Domenico in Fiesole, whichprobably datesto circaI428-29.3 X-radiographs permitted a reconstruction of thescenes'original sequence,because they map thegrainof thesinglewood plank The wood thatwas their commonsupport. of thepanels grainis mostvisiblein thex-rays in Florence, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, As Skipproving thatthey belongedtogether. thecontinuous archiseyalso has observed, at left tecture of thetwo sections confirms thatthepanelin FortWorthoccupiedthe on thefarleft: thegreenbuilding on position theright of thatpanelis thesameas theone thatappearsat thefarleft of the Florentine are tiedtogether panel,and thetwo structures by a commonmolding. would have Each sectionof thepredella to thelarger corresponded painted imageon thelostmainsectionof thealtarpiece above, which,it can be conjectured, depictedthe flanked Virginand Child in thecenter, by andJohntheBaptist panelswithSaints James on theleft and either SaintFrancis or Saint sainton the Dominic and an unidentified right.4 The onlyknowncandidate forone of thesepanelsis a SaintJames theGreat (fig.5), once in theMinneapolis Institute of Arts. According to an inscription datedI786 on theback of theJohnson the Dormition, Anglo-Florentine IgnazioHugford (1703I778) bequeathedthepanel to Lamberto of imitation Gori (1730-i80i), an artisan marble. had presumably owned the Hugford entire The sectionin San Francisco predella.5 is knownto havebelongedto theFrench scholar of ItalianartAlexis-Francois Artaud de Montor(1772-i849), who likely acquired from and the paintings Hugford's heirs, French of thepanelin Fort provenance a Hugford Worthalso suggests originvia Artaudde Montor.A notedpainter of altarin older also made forgeries pieces,Hugford and he probably restored styles, Angelico's Each panelwas croppedabout%" predella.6 werepaintedto com(i cm), and wood strips in theJohnson fortheloss,entailing pensate reconstruction of thelandscape as well picture and theangels as thefacesof Christ, Mary, in thecelestial vision. deemedGiottotheartist of the Hugford based on thedescription Johnson Dormition, of a picture by Giottoof thesubject(fig.6) in

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Livesofthe thefirst editionof GiorgioVasari's seemsto Artists (I5 5o).7 This misidentification knewthat havebeen intentional, forHugford came from a predella, whereas theDormition theGiottoas beingon the Vasari described in roodscreenof thechurch of Ognissanti also recorded Vasari Florence.Furthermore, a commondetailthatdoes not appearin reChrist theJohnson Collection's painting: on earthto collecttheVirgin's appearing soul. Christ, invariably distinguished by a halo is absent incisedwitha redcross, altogether tomb. thegroupat theVirgin's from The attribution of thepredella panelto Giottohad nonetheless gainedcredence, becausetheJohnson was engraved as picture suchby Carlo Lasinio(fig.7), thefuture director of thePisanCamposanto, a Gothic withnotablefourteenthand cemetery fifteenth-century frescoes, whichbecamea center forthearts and fortherestoration in theNapoleonicera. Lasinio's ofpaintings in thefirst volumeof engraving appeared L'Etruria I 79 I) by Marco pittrice (Florence, a luxurious Lastri, publication thatreviewed thestylistic of Tuscanpainting. development of theengraving in Copies or details appeared histories of Italianartby theFrenchman early Jean-Baptiste Seroux-d'Agincourt (i823 and GiovanniRosini (i839 i829) and the Italian and i848). However, notesin GiuseppeMontaniand GiovanniMasselli's editionofVasari, in i832, correctly published stated thatthe was notby Giotto.8 painting In i837 theGermanartconnoisseur GustavFriedrich Waato recognize gen (1794-i868) was thefirst of thispanelin his Angelico's authorship on thecollection of theEnglishcommentary manWilliamYoung Ottley(I77i-i836), to whom Lamberto Gori had probably sold the sometime afterI79I. picture In theJohnson Dormition, Angelico showsfiveapostles theVirgininto lowering thetomb, withsixteen othermourners in attendance. Fourhold now-tarnished silver one blowsa censer, and another torches, shakes an aspergil. In Anholywaterfrom of theDormition, gelico'sotherdepictions thecanonicaltwelve are neversuperapostles Not seded,but heretheyareoutnumbered. is easily identifiable: in thecenter, everyone Peterofficiates; Paul appears as thebalding manwitha darkpointedbeardbehindthe

Fig. 6 Giottodi Bondone Italian, Florence, 1266/67-I337 Dormition oftheVirgin Temperaand tooled gold on poplar 29 x 6878" (73x7 X 174.8 cm) Staatliche Museen,Berlin, no. I884
C. 1310

aG zz>
Fig. 7 Carlo Lasinio (Italian, Pisa, 1759-I838), after FraAngelico Dormition oftheVirgin (see fig.i) from Engraving Marco L'Etruria Lastri, pittrice ovvero storia della pittura toscana dedotta dai suoi monumenti chesi esibiscono instampa dalsecolo Xfino al presente, vol. i (Florence, 1791) i i x i6%3 (28 x 4I .5 cm)

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Fig. 8 Buonarroti Michelangelo Italian, Florence, Masaccio's Figurefrom Sagra(The Consecration of theCarmine)
c. I495 1475-I564

II% x 73/4 (29 X I9.7 cm) Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna, I i6 R I29 recto

Ink on paper

holds head; andJohntheEvangelist Virgin's a radiant goldenpalm.9 ofsix angels consist The celestial figures in prayer theVirgin, standing surrounding who holdsopen a theblessing before Christ, A (alwiththeGreekletters book inscribed in They areall painted pha) and fl (omega).10 of blue. While representations monochrome subtheDormitionsometimes incorporated in thelegendoftheVirgin, sequentevents of herpresentation suchas herAssumption, to theApostleThomas,or her hergirdle musthavedicCoronation, specialconcerns of the The exclusion tatedthisvariant. to a response Thomas episodewas certainly Pierozzi of SaintAntonino theconcerns canonizedI523), who was prior (I389-I459; at Fiesole Dominicanconvent of thereform moralis when Angelico joined. In his Summa thatsuch complained (c. 1440-59), Antonino Anthefaithifil. scenesconfused apocryphal thepredella tonino's panel, postdate writings butAngelicowould haveknownPierozzi's The saintalso questioned concerns. apocin hisconfuneral talesaboutMary's ryphal

a worldhistory, Chronicon, temporaneous of the uncertainty about evencommenting tract In that participation. theangelichost's on theAssumption, as well as in hissermons thehumto emphasize preferred Antonino blenessof herobsequies.He did not personthatChristcame to collect allyacknowledge soul; he onlycitedotherecclesitheVirgin's The absenceof angelsor authorities." astical and themoremystical at thefuneral Christ seem Dormition visionofAngelico's heavenly doubtsand hiswish to Antonino's to respond The force iconography. fora straightforward made thisa unique experiment, of tradition becausein hisotherimagesof theDormition, knownforto thebetter Angelicoreturned fig.9). mula (see,forexample, intericonographical While Angelico's theinspiradependedon Antonino, pretation was Masaccio.One tionforhiscomposition was the achievements of Masaccio'sprincipal distinof individually cogentorganization in groups.Like Masaccio's figures guished and apostles thetwelve forstaging solution (1426The Tribute Money in hisfresco Christ of 27) in theBrancacciChapel of thechurch AnSantaMaria del Carminein Florence,'2 in theJohnson hisfigures gelico deployed around semicircles in two sweeping Dormition thecomposition tomb,giving theVirgin's depthand monumentality. withgroup Masacciofirst experimented of circaI424-25, in the Sagra compositions on consecration theCarmine's depicting

in fresco i9, I422. Thismonochrome April

in I 598was destroyed cloister thechurch's to itsimpact.For attest i6oo, but drawings was imtheyoungMichelangelo example, in a long mantle(fig.8). by a patrician pressed to theman on also corresponds This figure in Angelico's panelin theJohnthefarright that Angelicoalso son Collection,proving to Vasari(I55 o) attests thefresco. studied when he places ofMasaccio study Angelico's the who visited in a listof artists first thefriar rise to gave BrancacciChapel and therefore of manner," or "beautiful thebellamaniera, times.'3 Vasari's Masaccioby Angelicoalso emulated bothhistoricizwearing figures intermingling JohntheEvandress: ing and contemporary withthebeardedman copied converses gelist personin theleft the Sagra;another from theblondapostlein facing background,

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redhat;and the wearsa fashionable profile, to theleft theEvangelist, seen ofJohn figure features that in profile, has unusually distinct moderndress is a portrait. Although suggest in AndreaOrcagna's wornby some figures from oftheDormition (active1344-68) relief of Orthemarble tabernacle oftheoratory in Florence(finished sanmichele I359),14 in Italian Masacciointroduced thepractice Two contemporary narrative figures painting. in thecentral predella appearas onlookers Magi ofthe panelshowingTheAdoration of forthechurch hisaltarpiece (I426)15from theCarminein Pisa. In theBrancacciChapel scenes. friars populatetheNew Testament hisseemto be witnessing Not onlydo they endowsdistant events but their tory, presence and immediacy. witha senseof truth morethananyotherwork,the Perhaps Dormition showsAnCollection's Johnson contact with hisfirst and closest gelico during Masaccio it to before Masaccio,likely dating FlorenceforRome in circa1428. The left of scene (fig.9) in thepredella corresponding in Cortona, Annunciation Angelico's altarpiece a executedbefore1434,suggests definitely
frescoes(c. 1425-27), Florentinecitizens and

certain in date.Although in that proximity scenehe follows moretraditional iconography Christ at thetomb,several byshowing figtheapostleseen from behind ures,including in front of thetomb,arerepeated in both.

Bernhard Berenson (1865-1959) recom-

The otherwork(fig.I I) by FraAngelicoin theJohnson Collectionis a morecurious affair. Purchased (I84IbyJohnG. Johnson 1917) as an independent objectin late 1911 or earlyI912 (fig. 12), thebust-length Saint Francis ofAssisi in prayer, seen against a low brickwall,is a fragment from a painted wood cutoutor silhouetted crucifix group(fig.Io), executedfora Florentine boys'club called San Niccolo del Ceppo. The effigy was shaved from thecrucifix group(fig.13) and not long before replaced by a copy, probably mendedthepurchase toJohnson, noting similarities betweentheindependent work and theSaintFrancis in thegroupcompositionin theconfraternity of San Niccolo del In April1992 DeMuzio and Skipsey Ceppo.16 restored theJohnson Collection's fragment to itsoriginal contours (see pp. 27-28).

Fig. 9 FraAngelico Dormition oftheVirgin (detailof thepredella from TheAnnunciation altarpiece) Before1434 Temperaand tooled gold on poplar Entirepredella: x 72" 9/8 in the church Originally of San Domenico, Cortona; now in the Museo Diocesano, Cortona
(23 x 183 cm)

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Fig. io FraAngelico Saints with TheCrucifix ofBariandFrands Nicholas

ofAssisi c. I425-33

and tooled gold Tempera on poplar 6'o'x4'9V8" (210 X I45 cm) Companyof San Niccolob del Ceppo, Florence (on depositat theMuseo Nazionale di San Marco,

Fig. xi Fra Angelico SaintFrancis ofAssisi and tooled gold Tempera on poplar Height24" (6i cm) CollecJohnG. Johnson dionat thePhiladelphia MuseumofArt,
cat. no. 14 c. I425-33


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Fig. I2 Fig. iI before conservation,showing theworkof FraAngelicoand an early twentieth-century forger

Fig. I3 Detail of theversoof fig. theback of IO showing thefigure of SaintFrancis


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The confraternity of San Niccolo del in the latefourteenth established Ceppo, two One, devoted century, comprised groups. to SaintNicholasofBari,enrolled young whitetunics boyswho metwearing during thedaytime. The other, foradults gathering in theevening, was dedicated to Saint Jerome. In 1417 theconfraternity builtan oratory neartheFlorentine calledtheCeppo hospital The word delle SetteOpere di Misericordia. "tree was a common ceppo, trunk," meaning in nameforcharities thatcollected donations hollowtrunks the in Pi(similarly, hospital stoiawas so known).The namestuckafter theboysmovedto thechurch of SantaMaria del Tempioin I530. In I56I they builtthe on the via Pandolfini. Aloratory present until the two associations shared 1530 though the crucifix seems to quarters, group always havebelongedto theboys'club. four boys'clubs, UniquelyFlorentine, Docknownas theCompaniesof Christian in were founded the late fourteenth trine, to teachChristian tenets. Pope Eugecentury them niusIV (reigned accorded 1431-47) in Antonino papalapproval 1442,nominating head. Pierozziwas thenprior Pierozzias their oftheconvent of San Marco in Florence, theObservant friars whereAngelico's order, of San Domenico in Fiesole,had established in 1436 undertheauspicesof a community of Florence, Antonino nominated archbishop the rule books. composed companies' had been a particular Youtheducation and Antonino had concernof theObservants, e written a catechism aimedat i putti piccoli and children). Giovanni (infants giovanetti of thereform Dominici (1357-1419), founder convent of San Domenico in Fiesole,penned several spiritual guides,ofwhichRegoladel di addressed to a mother governo curafamilare, on concentrated withan exiledhusband, He advocated children's showing upbringing. suchas imagesof thebaby children pictures, in swaddling withwhichthey clothes, Jesus of could empathize. His acknowledgment role of art have encourtheinstructive may to commission aged theyouthorganizations paintings. reliDominici'swritings on children's not artistic encouraged only gious education as well: "[The chilbutplay-acting exempla in as acolytes, dren]maybe dressed surplices
Cosimo de' Medici (I389-I464). In I446, just

mass,and be brought sing.... playat saying sometimes and shownhow real to thechurch do that them. they mayimitate priests it, Teachthemto preachafter have heard they and the family remaining preaching,... you seated... notlaughing butcommending and them when have imitated one they rewarding office."17 The boys'clubsexpanded spiritual on thisdomestic as artand theater training, becamepartof their publicritual. In 1435Ambrogio Traversari (I386the who was abbot of theCamaldolese 1439), of SantaMaria degliAngeliin community Florence(to whichthepainter Lorenzo Monaco belonged)as well as a patron ofAnand the Lorenzo Ghiberti gelico sculptor to Pope Eugeniusthat (1378-1455),explained theseclubsmetforpsalmrecitation, hymn laudibus divinis of theLord), singing, (praise and "worthwhile Like their colloquies."18 moderncounterparts, channeled the they in various endeavors. Adolesyouths' energy centmembers recited sermons in Latin;the in became common boys sights municipal and ceremonies, often religious processions from the late and, creating specialfloats; in mystery records arescarce, plays. Although theconfraternities soon stagedtheir own The Ceppo's Christmas productions. pageant latein thecentury. gainedrenown The reasonthata silhouetted Crucifixion scenewas selected forSan Niccolo del Ceppo Anof theclub'sactivities. liesin thenature whichcould haveserved gelico'sensemble, as a compelling forprayer, centerpiece

Fig. 14 Benozzo Gozzoli Italian, Florence, c. I420-I497 Predellapanel: The Presentation in ofChrist theTemple Commissioned1461 Temperaand tooled gold on poplar (24.8 x 36.3 cm) CollecJohnG. Johnson tionat the Philadelphia Museumof Art, cat. no. 38
X I4/16" 93/4

the youngsters were recruitedas actors

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Fig. i5 Giottodi Bondone and assistants The Verification of theStigmata

C. I 290

Fresco Upper Church,Basilica of San Francesco, Assisi Fig. i6 PietroLorenzetti Italian, Siena; first securely documented I320, probablydied 1348 Crucifix
C. 1330

and tooled gold Tempera on poplar Height 49?4"(I25 cm) Museo Diocesano, Cortona

the whileoffering and recitation preaching, musthave ofrelative advantage mobility, prop. an effective constituted theJohnson Besidesthe SaintFrancis, withtwo Collectionownsworksassociated youthclubs.Benozzo GozotherFlorentine (fig.I4) comesfrom ofChrist zoli'sPresentation to the belonging of an altarpiece thepredella oftheVirof thePurification Brotherhood of San Marco. gin,whichmetin theconvent showing triptych,19 portable An anonymous witha boy theVirginand saints in thecenter musicin theforeground, to an angel's dancing mayhavebeen made fora youthupon entertheCompanyof possibly inga confraternity, Raphael.While thistriptych theArchangel as convenfunction and Gozzoli'saltarpiece theCeppo's cut-out images, tionalreligious conceived groupwas specially Crucifixion audience. foritsyouthful cenand fourteenth In thethirteenth could be found largeshapedcrucifixes turies, of manyItalian on theroodscreens mounted Angelicohas (fig.i 5). The form churches in whichthe crucifix a silhouetted adopted, wood panelhasbeen cut alongthecontours sculpofpainted of theimagein simulation

such rarer. Smallexamples, ture, is, however, of circaI330 crucifix as PietroLorenzetti's ceremonies. (fig.i6), wereused in religious by Nicpainting An early fifteenth-century colo di PietroGerini(fig.17) showssucha to theburialof an crossbeingcarried painted of theCompanyofJesus adultmale member a confraternity thatmetin the thePilgrim, of SantaMaria Novellain Dominicanconvent work FraAngelicopainteda similar Florence. In of San Marco.20 now on thehighaltar in commission as a friar hisfirst addition, of thesame a lostcross, possibly I423 was for church of hospital fortheFlorentine type, Sant'Egidio. thepopudocuments Gerini's painting withconcrucifixes of thesilhouetted larity late of several whichtheexistence fraternities, A crucifix corroborates. trecento examples di Nardo (c. of about I385-90 by Mariotto convent now in theOratorian I373-I424) of San Firenzein Florencehad belongedto of theCompanyof theBlack.21 theoratory A cross(c. I380-85) by PietroNelli (c. I366of San Pietroa Ripoli I430/46) in thechurch a painting of the nearFlorencewas cut from use by one of forceremonial Crucifixion


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thelaypenitential thatcarried crosses groups Florencein theyear1400.22The through c. Florentine Niccolo di Tommaso's (active on depositin theMuseo e GallerieNazionali di Capodimonte in Naples,comesfrom a devotedto theworNeapolitanconfraternity shipof thecross.23 The painter LorenzoMonaco developed thesilhouetted crucifix on a largescalefor monastic use.24 The specific precedent forFra Angelico's groupis Monaco's over-life-size crucifix withthemourning Virginand Saint

crucifix silhouetted (c. I37i), now

i 8), John theEvangelist ofcirca I4I 5 (fig.

probably from theCamaldoleseconvent of San Salvatore, and sincecircaI 552 in the church of San Giovannino dei Cavalieridi Maltain Florence. The group's original settingis not known,butpresumably it would havebeen on an altar. In theeighteenth cena landscape tury was frescoed on thewall behindit. While thisbackground was an invention, it suits thegroup's inherently theatrical whichargues nature, fora fuller context.Besidespainted wood or terra-cotta

figural itsclosest ensembles, are equivalents thestaged environments of thesacremonti, or "sacredmountains," foundlaterin Northern Italyand also in Tuscany (suchas thecomplex of theconvent of San Vivaldo),in which architecture, sculpture, painting, and textiles, furniture werecombinedto create living scenesfrom biblicalhistory. Beforebecominga friar, Angelicohad joined a brotherhood similar to San Niccolo del Ceppo (however, foradults), whichmet in theCarmine.His membership familiarized theartist withlayassociations' desireto idenwithreligious events through imagery. tify Angelico's Crucifixion groupfortheCeppo, dating shortly after hisreligious confession, is hisfirst knownworkthatdirectly invites in a devotional spectator involvement image. Cooptingthesilhouetted crucifix from adult brotherhoods and monastic Ancontexts, gelicocalculated thattheform's dramaturgic facilitated theboys'orations. potential By theconfines breaking of frame, thecutout achieves realpresence and tangibility. Itsintentcorresponds to quattrocento religious art
' 5

Fig. I7 Niccol6 di PietroGerini Italian, Florence;first securely documented 1368, died I4I5 Funeral ofa Member of theCompany ofJesus the Pilgrim (predella of TheMan ofSorrows) Temperaand tooled gold on poplar Overall32? X 59Y8" (82 X 152 cm) in the convent Originally of SantaMaria Novella, Florence;now in the Galleriadell'Accademia, Florence, no. 8720
C. I404-5

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mented I390, diedMay

24, I424(?)

Fig. i8 LorenzoMonaco Italian, Florence;docu-

The Crucifix with the Mourning and Saint Virgin John the Evangelist
C. I4I5

Temperaand tooled gold on poplar Churchof San Giovanninodei Cavalieri di Malta,Florence

(4i6 X 221 cm)
I3'73/4 X 7 3


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worshipers' experito personalize thatsought in a fifIlluminations ence of sacredevents. Dominican copyof a diffuse teenth-century theprayer illustrating orandi, De modo manual, one furnish founder, of theorder's habits example(fig.i9). They depictSaintDominic an canonizedI234) before (c. I I70-I221; comes crucifix altar on whicha sculptured could upliftment, alive.Art,a tool ofspiritual via living thusstimulate as well as simulate or contoured sculpture sion.A polychromed thiseffect. imitated convincingly painting liesbehindAngelico's thinking Similar in thecellsof the of gospelstories frescoes in which convent of San Marcoin Florence, depictions-often external to the figures of Dominicansaints-are shownin attitudes the resident prayer that and contemplation For example, friar to emulate. was exhorted in of The SaintDominic theforeground and seated 20), shown (fig. Mocking ofChrist in onlooker the encourages reading, absorbed follow gestures to recollection. These figures' Saints modo orandi.25 formulas in De prescribed and in ensemble Ceppo's Nicholas Francis the

mediated theboys'contemplation similarly of theactualsacredevent. Crucifixion Stylistically, Angelico's group

ing curveof Francis's tunicand thewaving of theloin clothrecalltheworkof drapery LorenzoMonaco. The modelforthetreatmentof thecontours, head,and musculature of Christ is Masaccio'sTrinity (fig.2I), a in SantaMaria Novellain Florence, fresco

canbe dated to circa I425-33. The gothiciz-

morethanto Masaccio,hereAngelicolooked to thesculptor LorenzoGhiberti. in hisautobiographiGhiberti reminisced cal commentary of circaI450 that"formany . . . I provided painters thegreatest honorsin I havemade verymany their works[for] models. . . and . .. havedesigned verymany Moreover to thosewho had to make things. thanlifesize,I havegiventhe figures larger rulesforexecuting themon perfect scale."26 withthesculptor Angelicocollaborated on thetabernacle of theGuild of LinenWorkers in I433 (fig.22). Ghiberti designed theframe and apparently modelsforthefullprovided

executed circa I426-27. Butperhaps even

Fig. i9 Anonymous Spanish(?) illuminator SaintDominic Humbling Himself before theCross FromDe modo orandi, folio6 verso Earlyfifteenth century Temperaon parchment BibliotecaApostolica VaticanCity, Vaticana, ms. lat. Rossianus3
Fig. 20

Fra Angelico TheMocking ofChrist with theVirgin and Saint Dominic

C. I44I

Fresco(before restoration) 66Y8x 64%" (i68 x i64 cm) Conventof San Marco, Florence, cell 7

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Fig. 2I Masaccio Italian, Florence,


C. I426-27

21 1Io%'
X Io 43/4

Churchof SantaMaria Novella,Florence

(667 x 317 cm)

Fig. 22 FraAngelicoand Lorenzo Ghiberti (Italian, Florence, Tabernacle oftheGuildof LinenWorkers Temperaand tooled gold on poplarand gilded marble Height8'6%" (260 cm) Museo Nazionale di San Uffizi Marco,Florence, 879
1432-33 1378-1455)

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length saints. The Johnson Collection's Saint Francis, however, indicates an evenearlier association betweenthetwo artists. The of Francis's deep folds tunicand thethreeof hishead recallGhiberti's dimensionality bronzes fortheexterior nichesof theoratory of Orsanmichele in Florence, the particularly SaintStephen contemporary (fig.23). In fact, thefragmentary SaintFrancis is theonlywork in thePhiladelphia MuseumofArtthat clearly documents therelationship betweena Florentine Renaissance sculptor and painter. Beforeconservation, itssculptural quality was byno meansevident, disguised by thefigure's incorporation intoa flat, gildedbackground. Angelico's Crucifixion groupmusthave a certain enjoyed sincetwo copies fortune, exist. A small-scale in whichSaint rendering Jerome replaces SaintNicholasis now in theFlorentine Vallombrosan abbeychurch of SantaTrinita (fig.24), and Francesco di created Simone,calledPesellino, a life-size groupwith Jerome, MaryMagdalene, and Francis.27 Based upon hisreading ofVasari, LucianoBellosihasproposedthatPesellino's was made foranother Crucfixion Florentine boys'club,theCompanyof SaintGeorge.28 The presence ofJerome could also suggest thattheseensembles weremade fortheCeppo's adultconfraternity devotedto that saint. The Johnson Collectionpossesses two other related to Angelico.Vasari, pictures in hislifeofAngelico(I 550), mentions thata Zanobi Strozzi, made manypaintfollower, ingsforFlorentine residences. This undoubtedlyincludedStrozzi's Annunciation (fig.25). 29 Similar to theartist's in a choral miniature book forSan Marco in Florence, dated several books of hours.Strozzi private participatedin theillumination of thechoralbooks of San Marco,commissioned by Cosimo de' theilluminator's Angelicowithoverseeing workis evidenceof Strozzi's on dependency thefriar. The unusualiconography of the Collection's in whichthe Johnson painting, Archangel Gabrielapproaches theVirginon from clouds,derives illumination Angelico's ofcircaI425 in a missal from San seemingly Domenico in Fiesole(fig.26). The accompatextfrom Isaiah45:8, sungat theintroit nying of masses fortheVirgin, theiconogexplains raphy: "Drop down dew,ye heavens, from
1453 ,3


Fig. 23 Lorenzo Ghiberti SaintStephen CommissionedI425, finished I429 Bronze Height7'6Y2"(230 cm) of Orsanmichele, Oratory Florence

4. 4.

Fig. 24 Florence Anonymous, The Crucfix with Saints and Francis Jerome ofAssisi
C. I430-40

Temperaand tooledgold on poplar Conventof SantaTrinita, Florence

thecomposition alsoreappears in



A memorandum Medici. ofI449 charging


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Fig. 25 Zanobi Strozzi Italian, Florence,


C. 1453

and tooled gold Tempera on poplar

I49/16X II78

cm) CollecJohnG. Johnson tionat thePhiladelphia Museumof Art, cat. no. 22

(37 X 30.2

above,and let thecloudsrainthejust: let the a saviour." earth be opened,and bud forth The secondJohnson Collectionwork thatis related to Angelicois a panel (fig.27), thepapacybeingoffered seemingly depicting to thecenobiticGregory theGreat(reigned 590-604). This is by thesamehandand posfrom thesamepredella as a groupof sibly otherpanelsshowing scenesfrom thelivesof monastic saints. JohnPope-Hennessy profortheother posed a commonassociation sections:TheApparition to ofSaintRomualdo OttoIII (fig.28); SaintBenedict in Ecstasy;31 The Conversion and ofSaintAugustine(?);32 The Temptation ofSaintAnthony Abbot.33 The Johnson panelhas been cut,and,exceptfor thepanelin Cherbourg, theothers havealso been slightly shaved.The panelsareby an associate of FraAngelico, Batearly possibly of SaintRomualdo,father of the presence thatifthey Camaldolesemonks, suggests thesamecomplex,it was a comcome from mission forthatorder. The newlycleanedpaintings by Fra Angelicoin Philadelphia arean important "addition"to themuseum's Florentine early Renaissance collection. No other American institution ownsso manyworksthatcan in Masaccio's tracepictorial developments Florence. The changeMasacciowrought is bestevidencedin theworkof Giovanni Tofour scani;theMuseumpossesses paintings by him.One predella panel (fig.29) comesfrom an altarpiece ordered in I423 by Pierodi Neri Ardinghelli forhisfamily's chapelin the Vallombrosan of SantaTrinita abbeychurch in Florence. The workwas paid forby an

di BiagioSanguini tista (1392/93-I45i).


Fig. 26 FraAngelico The Annunciation a missal) (page from Temperaand tooled gold on parchment Museo Nazionale di San Marco,Florence, ms. no.
558, folio 33 recto
i83/4 x I3

C. I425-30

w x

(47.5 x 33 cm)

l i :qf

PallaStrozzi in-law, (1372-I472),

l |


_ I -


commissioned Gentileda Fabriano's (c. 13701427) Adoration ofthe Magi(finished May 1423) fortheStrozzi Chapel in thesacristy of thesamechurch.34 Two otherpredella panels Colby Toscani(see fig.30) in theJohnson lectioncome from an altarpiece probably contracted by another wealthy Florentine, church of SantaMaria destroyed parish in Florence.35 The altarpiece was sopr'Arno left unfinished at Toscani's deathin 1430, and thelostmainpanelwas completed by Giuliano d'Arrigo, calledPesello(I367-1446). aboutoverdue Whereastheearlier payment.


Simone Buondelmonti (I387-1437),

for the

Aslateas I433, Toscani's widow complained

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Fig. 27 Followerof FraAngelico Predellapanel: The Papacy to Gregory the Offered Great(?)
C. 1435

Temperaand tooled gold on poplar I I x 73/4' (28 x 19.7 cm) CollecJohnG. Johnson tionat the Philadelphia Museumof Art, cat. no. I I66

Fig. 28 Followerof FraAngelico Predellapanel: TheApparition ofSaintRomualdo to OttoIII

C. I435

Temperaand tooled gold on poplar

8 3/4XI3/4

Museum Koninklijk voor Schone Kunsten, no. I 17 Antwerp,

(22.3 X 27.3 cm)

1: .~~,M - ,,~ , W

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Fig. 29

GiovanniToscani Italian, Florence, I370/80-I430 Predella panel: TheBaptism ofChrist and the Decapitation ofSaintJames theGreat

Tempera and tooled gold on poplar i6?8 x 26%" (41 x 67 cm) JohnG. Johnson Collectionat the Philadelphia Museumof Art,

'p I I

Fig. 30 GiovanniToscani Predella panel: Christ the Doctors among


Temperaand tooled gold on poplar 7% x 193/4 09g4 x 50.2 cm) JohnG. Johnson Collectionat thePhiladelphia Museumof Art, cat. no. i9


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Fig. 3 Paolo Schiavo Italian, Florence, I397-I478 Predellapanel: The Nativity ofChrist c. 1425-30 Temperaand tooled gold on poplar
87/8x I23/4

CollecJohnG. Johnson tionat the Philadelphia MuseumofArt, cat. no. I25

(22.5 X 32.4 cm)

showsthegothpredella panelforArdinghelli of Gentileda Fabriano, who icizinginfluence was intermittently in Florencefrom 1419to documents 1425,theBuondelmonti predella Toscani's debtto Masaccio.Masaccio'slost and frescoes in theBrancacciChapel lie Sagra betweenthetwo.Masacciohad a contagious effect on intellectually alertpatrons like Buondelmonti who wereinterested in civic humanism and recent discoveries of ancient and sought artists texts, capableofinterpretAnother ingthenew style. predella panel (fig.3I) of circa1425-30 by Paolo Schiavo showstraces of theinfluence of Gentile, but thesolidly modeledforms achievedthrough theplayoflight and shadeshowhow quickly to Masaccio'slessons in painters responded theBrancacciChapel.36 The obsession of early fifteenth-century of Florentine artists fora new scientific system and believable architecprojecting perspective in circa1417by Filippo tural spaces,invented
Brunelleschi (I377-1446), is demonstratedin

a LutheJohnson Collection'sChrist Healing Pieces natic and Judas Receiving Thirty ofSilver

as a processional served (fig.32). It probably becausethesceneis paintedon lightbanner, a veryraresupport forthe canvas, weight fifteenth century. Although early croppedon thesideswherethestreets would haveconthesetting evokesBrunelleschi's tinued, viewsof Florentine recorded perspectival attributed thepainting, thenin Vasari squares. thehouse of thepainter Ridolfodi Ghirlanthe daio (I483-I56I), to Masaccio,praising ofperspective thatshowed masterful handling boththeinsideand outsideofbuildings and, "becauseof thegreater rendered challenge," of themat an angle.37 The cupola and lantern thetemple wereinspired byBrunelleschi's of Florence. plans (1420) forthecathedral The dome was enclosedin 1436 and the that lantern finished onlyin 1445,suggesting thearchitect shared thedesignwithMasaccio. The figures werepainted by a collaborator, but theguidelines Francesco d'Antonio, likely incisedin thegessoed forthearchitecture arebasedon a designby preparatory layer are notby him.The presMasaccio,ifthey nameon ence of theGreekletters forJesus'

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Fig. 32 Masaccio and Francesco d'Antonio (Italian, Florence,

C. 1393-I433)

Fig. 33 Masaccio and Masolino (Italian, Florence,

1383-after 1435)

datethebannerto circa thehalosmight


Christ a Lunatic Healing andJudas Receiving Thirty Pieces ofSilver

C. 1424-25

Saints Peter and Paul

C. I427-28

Tempera, and silver, tooled gold on poplar

39 X 2I%"

Temperaand tooled gold on canvas

45% X 4I3/4'
(I15.2 X io6 cm) JohnG. Johnson Collectionat thePhiladelphia MuseumofArt, cat. no. 17

JohnG. Johnson Collectionat thePhiladelphia MuseumofArt, 408

(I 14.2 X 54.3 cm)

cultdevotedto honoring lisheda widespread wildly popular preached theName ofJesus, in thesquareofSantaCroce Lentensermons in Florence. with Vasari also described hisvisit to see thedouble-sided altarMichelangelo piece by Masaccioand Masolinoin thebasilica of SantaMaria Maggiorein Rome (fig. and finished a collaboration byMasolinoafter death.Masaccio'sdeparMasaccio'suntimely a temporary break thiscommission, represents In in thedevelopment of Florentine painting. to FraAnthenextdecade it would be left gelicoto buildon Masaccio'sachievements.

ofSiena Bernardino whenSaint 1450), whoestabcanonized

V byPopeMartin 33).38 Commissioned as Colonna(reigned 14I7-3 I), it wasbegun

to undertake ture for Romein 1428, probably


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I wish gratefully toacknowledge the helpofmycolleagues at thePhiladelphia Museum ofArt-David DeMuzio, Joe David Skipsey, andMarkTucker Rishel, Mikuliak,JosephJ. -as wellas Magnolia Scudieri and Giovanna Damianiof the MuseoNazionaledi San Marco in Florence. All translations are by theauthorunlessnoted.All biblical quotations are from theDouay-RheimsVersion. Le vite GiorgioVasari, de' piu eccellenti architetti, pittori, etscultori italiani, da Cimabue insino a' tempi nostri nell'edizioneperi tipidi Lorenzo Torrentino, Firenze 1550, ed. Luciano Bellosiand Aldo Rossi,withan introduction by GiovanniPrevitali (Turin,i986), p. 272.

bier.Johnproherfuneral havethepalmbornebefore who countered posed thatit shouldbe carriedby Peter, theVirgin's a virgin, shouldcarry himself that John, palm. io. Apocalypsei:8: "I am Alphaand Omega, thebeginningand the end." see Creighton Gilbert, I I. For thepassagein the Summa, of Florence,1450," on the Painters "The Archbishop TheArtBulletin, vol. 4I, no. I (MarchI959), p. 76. For opus(Lugano, otherviews,see Chronicorum Antonino's in Summa sacrae printed i587), p. 388, and thesermons theologiae (Venice,I58i), chaps.43-45.
I2. UmbertoBaldiniand Ornella Casazza, La cappella restoration) Brancacci (Milan, i990), color repro.(after p. 38.

MiklosBoskovits, "Appunti sull'Angelico," Paragonevol.27, no. 3 I3 (March1976), p. 39; Everett Fahy, arte, "The KimbellFraAngelico," vol. 125, no. 301 Apollo, (March1987), pp. I78-83. x 6'43/4 3. Museo del Prado,Madrid,no. IS; 6'43/4" FraAngelico (I94 X I94 cm). See JohnPope-Hennessy, (Ithaca,NY, 1974), fig.I0.


See n. I above.

Sculpture Italian Gothic I 4. JohnPope-Hennessy, (London, I985), fig.43. Museen,Berlin,no. 58A; 8?4 X 24" (21 X I5. Staatliche Park, 6i cm). See Luciano Berti,Masaccio (University 24, 25. plates PA,I967), color ofPainti6. Bernhard ofa Collection Berenson,Catalogue Italian (Philadelphia, andSomeArtObjects: Paintings ings thatthe 1913), pp. Io-II, no. 14. Acknowledgment came from the Ceppo groupwas made by SaintFrancis delBeatoAngelico nel delle opere Luciano Bertiin Mostra dellamorte centenario (1455-1955) (Florence,I955), quinto in floodsof the pp. 45-46, no. 25. The worksuffered of itsearlyrestorations Arno in I557 and I966. A history is found as well as a detailedaccountof the confraternity La compagnia e Fiorentini's in LudovicaSebregondi delCeppo(Florence,i985). l'oratorio di San Niccolo useful essay"Ritual 17. Quoted in RichardC. Trexler's in theRenaisin Florence:Adolescenceand Salvation and in LateMedieval ofHoliness sance,"in ThePursuit ed. CharlesTrinkaus and Heiko A. Renaissance Religion, Oberman (Leiden, 1974), pp. 233-34. i8. Ibid., pp. 209-I2. and Child, of theJohnson Tabernacle,Virgin I9. Master Thomas theBaptist, with Aquinas, Saints Dominic, John andan Angel anda Child Peter andJerome, Martyr, Francis, c. 146i, and Tobias?) panel of a triptych), (center (Raphael and tooledgold on poplar,center panel: I19"/6 tempera Collectionat x II Y8" (50 x 28.3 cm),JohnG. Johnson Museumof Art, 2034a. thePhiladelphia

of Francis and Dominic, 4. The scene of themeeting of rivalmendicant could havebeen founders orders, saint.Angelicoonce placedbelow an imageof either paintedthesubjectin a panel (c. I430; Staatliche Museen, Berlin, no.6i; I0o4 X 12?4" [26 x 31 cm]) fora predella dedicatedto thelifeof Francis. See ibid., fig.49.

S.JohnFleming, "The Hugfords of Florence,"The vol. I36, nos. 548-49 (October-November Connoisseur, 1955), pp. io6-io, I97-206; Bruce Cole and Ulrich Middeldorf, "Masaccio,Lippi,or Hugford?"The Burlington Magazine, vol. I 13, no. 822 (September I97I), pp. 500-507; GiovanniPrevitali, deiprimitivi Lafortuna dal Vasari ai neoclassici (Turin,I989), esp. pp. 2I2-I4.
6. A portable fresco of a youngman in the Galleriadegli Uffizi in Florence(no. I7II; 193/4 X I2?4" [50 x 3I cm]), to Masaccio and by others to attributed by Hugford

own invention. of the Dormition See theillustration ofthe in thesky, before Virgin showingHugford's repaintings in BarbaraSweeny'sJohn G. Skipsey's conservation, Collection: Johnson Catalogue ofItalian Paintings (Philadelphia, I966), p. I09. Le vite 7. Vasari, (I550), pp. 125-26. In thesecond editionofVasari(I 568), Giotto'spicture was no longer mentioned. 8. GiorgioVasari, Le opere e archidi Giorgio Vasari pittore tetto aretino. Parte contenente delle vite deipiu prima porzione eccellenti e architetti pittori [withnotesby GiuseppeMontaniand GiovanniMasselli], vol. I (Florence,I832), p. I29 n. 70. to The Golden 9. According Legend (c. I267), a compendiumof sacredstories da Voragine(I228/29byJacobus 1298), when theArchangel Gabrielannouncedto Mary herimminent a palmbranchthat death,he brought "shonewitha greatbrightness." to MaryaskedJohn

Filippino Lippi(c. 1406-1469),

wasapparently Hugford's

e il convento di San in color in La chiesa Illustrated vol. 2 (Florence,1990), p. 75, fig.I. a Firenze, Marco

6' II2" X 5 I7/8 (212 x I57 cm). See RichardOffner, "The Mostradel Tesorodi FirenzeSacra-II," The vol. 43, no. 367 (October I933), Magazine, Burlington repro. p. I67.


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in Florenz undin der MargitLisner, Holzkruzifixe Cinquecento, Toskana vonderZeit um1300 biszumfruhen vom Kunstherausgegeben Italienische Forschungen no. 4 (Munich,1970), in Florenz, historischen Institut
figs. I, 2.

alla vigilia del Pitturafiorentina 23. MiklMs Boskovits, rinascimento 1370-1400 (Florence,1975), fig.67.

Collection 36. This is one of fourpanelsin theJohnson in the Staatliche thepredellaof an altarpiece thatformed in Berlinsee BernMuseen in Berlin.For the pictures A Listof oftheRenaissance. Italian Pictures hardBerenson, with an IndexofPlaces: Artists and TheirWorks thePrincipal (London, i963), pl. 645. The other Florentine School in Sweeny'sjohn G. are illustrated pictures Johnson

Monaco I989), Lorenzo (Princeton, MarvinEisenberg,

(I550), Le vite 37. Vasari,

p. 268.

esp. 125-27.

WilliamHood, "SaintDominic'sMannersof Prayat S. in FraAngelico's Cell Frescoes ing: Gestures vol. 48, no. 2 (JuneI986), Marco," TheArtBulletin, discussion of thiscan be foundin pp. I95-206. Further at chapters 9 and I0 of WilliamHood, FraAngelico San Marco (New Haven, I993). It shouldbe notedthat of thetextof De modo Antoninoincludeda transcription orandi in hislifeof SaintDominic in thepenultimate of the Chronicon (see n. I I above). chapter

scultori pittori, Le vite de' piu'eccellenti 38. GiorgioVasari, [Florence,I568], ed. GaetanoMilanesi ed architettori (Florence,i878), vol. 2, pp. 293-94. TheJohnsonColaltarpiece. lectionowns two panelsof thisdisassembled in London,the Othersare in the NationalGallery Museo e GallerieNazionali di Capodimontein Naples, in Rome. See Carl Brandon and the PinacotecaVaticana and MarkTucker, "The SantaMaria Maggiore Strehlke ArteCristiana, vol. 75, New Observations," Altarpiece: no. 719 (March-Aprili987), figs.i-8.

I commentari, ed. OttavioMorisani 26. Lorenzo Ghiberti, is by Richard (Naples, 1947), p. 47. The translation Lorenzo Krautheimer and TrudeKrautheimer-Hess, on Artand ArchaeolPrinceton Monographs Ghiberti, i956 [3rded., I982]), p. I5. ogy,no. 3I (Princeton,
27. Luciano Bellosi,"Intornoad Andreadel Castagno," I967), Paragone-arte, n.s. 31, vol. I8, no. 21I (September
figs. 12-I5.

28. Ibid., p. i6 n. 9.

Le vite Vasari, (I550), p. 349.

"Bernhard and MaryBeren30. Carl BrandonStrehlke, P. Horne andJohnG. Johnson," Prospettiva: son, Herbert vols. 57-60 Rivista di storia dell'arte antica e moderna, (AprilI989-October I990), fig.9. x Io?"4 (I'7 x no. I20; 63/4 3I. Mus&eConde, Chantilly,
26 32.

FraAngelico, fig.67. cm). See Pope-Hennessy,

no. 8; 77/8X Cherbourg, Musee Thomas Henry,


(20 x 32 cm). See ibid., fig. 68.

Houston,no. 44-550; 33. The Museumof Fine Arts,

7?Y2x II'

X 28 cm). See ibid., fig. 8o.

no. 8324,and Mushe Florence, 34. GalleriadegliUffizi, du Louvre,Paris,no. 295; overall5'8Y8"X 7'2%/" (173 x da Fabriano Gentile 220 cm). See KeithChristiansen, (Ithaca,NY, i982), pls. 22-38. of panelsinclude ThePresentation 35. The otherpredella Collection(cat. no. Christ in theTemple in theJohnson x g19 4 [I8.2 x 49 cm]), and TheAdoration ofthe I8; 71/8 of Victoriain Melbourne Magiin the NationalGallery X 20?Y2' [I8 X 52 cm]). See Luciano (no. I73 I\5; 7%YA Giovanni Griggs: Bellosi,"II Maestrodella Crocifissione n.s. 13, vol. I7, no. 193 (March Toscani,"Paragone-arte, I966), fig.29b and colorplateI.


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