Saint Luke

Object Details


Saint Luke


Simone Martini (Italian (Sienese), about 1284 - 1344)




Siena, Tuscany, Italy (Place created)




Tempera and gold leaf on panel

Object Number:



Panel: 67.5 × 48.3 × 3.8 cm (26 9/16 × 19 × 1 1/2 in.)

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Saint Luke, one of the four evangelists and the patron saint of painters, is shown in the act of writing his Gospel. His attribute, a winged ox in the lower left-hand corner, holds a black inkpot for his pen. A decorative punchmarked halo, made by lightly tapping metal punches onto a gold background with a hammer, surrounds the saint's head.

The Saint Luke panel was probably one section of a five-part, portable polyptych. The panels were attached to one another by leather straps and could be folded up and carried. The back and sides of the Saint Luke panel were painted to resemble porphyry. When the polyptych was folded up, it resembled a stack of purple stone tablets.

Simone Martini was famous for his graceful, refined compositions. A gentle sweep of line defines the saint's body from his neck down to his elongated left hand.

before 1914

E. Bonesi (Paris, France), sold to Galeries Heilbronner.

- mid-1920s

Galeries Heilbronner (Paris, France), sold to Erich Lederer, mid-1920s.

mid-1920s - 1939

Erich Lederer, 1896 - 1985 (Vienna, Austria), at the family residence of Erich Lederer's parents, August Lederer (1857 - 1936) and Serena Lederer (1867 - 1943), Bartensteingasse 8; confiscated by the Gestapo at the direction of the Zentralstelle für Denkmalschutz, 1939.

1939 - 1945

In the possession of the Nazis, stored at Zentraldepot at Neue Burg, Vienna; moved to Reichsbank, Vienna (Austrian National Bank), March 30, 1942; evacuated to the salt mines at Altaussee, Oct. 7, 1943; recovered by the US Forces (80th Infantry Division; Task Force Pearson), May 8, 1945.

1945 - 1947

In custody of the Allied Forces (salt mines at Altaussee, Austria), released to the Republic of Austria, by December 1, 1947.

1947 - 1950

Austrian government, restituted to Erich Lederer in exchange for a donation of several works of art from his family's collection to the Republic of Austria, export permit granted June 28, 1950.

1950 - 1982

Erich Lederer, 1896 - 1985 (Geneva, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1982.

Byzantium and the West (September 14 to December 5, 2004)
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