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Predella with Annunciation and Scenes from the Lives of Four Saints

Nicola di Maestro Antonio d'Ancona

European Art

On View:
This predella depicts defining events in the lives of the Madonna and Saints John the Baptist, Lawrence, Stephen, and Anthony of Padua, all represented on the main panel of an altarpiece now in a Roman private collection. Decorated pilasters capped with Corinthian capitals divide the predella into clearly defined scenes of martyrdom and wonder, while a verdant, mountainous landscape in the distance provides a rhythmic continuity of peaks and valleys that draws the eye across the panel’s individual narratives.

Traditionally the devotional focus of an altarpiece, the Virgin receives the widest section at the center of the predella with a depiction of the Annunciation, the moment when Mary’s destiny to bear the Christ Child is revealed to her by the Archangel Gabriel. Nicola places the four remaining scenes on either side of the Annunciation—just as the saints would appear on either side of the Madonna in the main panel. Significantly larger in scale and adorned with halos, the saints are clearly distinguished from the other figures in their respective scenes.
MEDIUM Tempera on panel
  • Place Made: Italy
  • DATES ca. 1475–1480
    DIMENSIONS image: 6 1/4 × 72 3/4 in. (15.9 × 184.8 cm) frame: 9 1/2 × 75 3/4 × 1 1/2 in. (24.1 × 192.4 × 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mary Babbott Ladd, Lydia Babbott Stokes, and Frank L. Babbott, Jr. in memory of their father Frank L. Babbott
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Nicola di Maestro Antonio d'Ancona (Italian, Marchigian School, documented 1472–1511). Predella with Annunciation and Scenes from the Lives of Four Saints, ca. 1475–1480. Tempera on panel, image: 6 1/4 × 72 3/4 in. (15.9 × 184.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mary Babbott Ladd, Lydia Babbott Stokes, and Frank L. Babbott, Jr. in memory of their father Frank L. Babbott, 34.844 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 34.844_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 34.844_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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