The J. Paul Getty Museum

Saint Francis and a Bishop Saint, Saint John the Baptist and Saint Dominic

Object Details

Title:

Saint Francis and a Bishop Saint, Saint John the Baptist and Saint Dominic

Artist/Maker:
Culture:

Italian

Date:

late 1420s

Medium:

Tempera and gold leaf on panel

Object Number:

92.PB.111

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Object Description

These panels once served as wings of a portable altarpiece used for private devotion. The left panel shows Saint Francis, who is recognized by the stigmata on his hands, feet, and side. The three knots tied in the sash around his waist symbolizing his Franciscan Order's three religious vows: poverty, chastity, and obedience. An unidentified bishop saint wearing a cope and miter and holding a crozier stands to the left of Francis.

The right panel depicts Saint John the Baptist, who is identified by his reed cross and tunic of animal skins, and Saint Dominic, who wears the habit of his Dominican Order. He holds a lily, the symbol of chastity, and carries a book of the Gospels.

The Dominican monk Fra Angelico, whose clerical name means "Angelic Brother," was among the first to adopt Masaccio's innovative naturalism. Though he still employed a gold background, Fra Angelico used shading to model plausible figures in the round. These paintings epitomize his particular delicacy of color, sensitivity of expression, and ability to convey the spiritual grace of saints.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1917 -

Joseph Sampson Stevens, American, born 1865, possibly by inheritence to his nephew, Byam Kerby Stevens, by 1981.
Source: JPGM Paintings Department, curatorial files, letter from Everett Fahy to John Walsh, February 15, 1994

by 1981 - 1992

Byam Kerby Stevens (Muttontown, Long Island, New York), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.
Source: JPGM Paintings Department, curatorial files, letter from Everett Fahy to John Walsh, February 15, 1994

1992

The Stevens Trust (London, England; New Jersey), sold through Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London, England) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Agnew's 175th Anniversary (June 9 to July 24, 1992)
  • Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London), June 9 to July 24, 1992
Rediscovering Fra Angelico: A Fragmentary History (September 28, 2001 to April 28, 2002)
  • Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven), September 28, 2001 to April 28, 2002
Fra Angelico (October 24, 2005 to January 30, 2006)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), October 24, 2005 to January 30, 2006
Bibliography
Bibliography

Boskovits, Miklos. "La fase tarda del Beato Angelico: Una proposta di interpretazione." Arte cristiana 71, no. 694 (1983), pp. 11-23, figs. 1-2.

Agnew's 175th Anniversary: A Catalogue to Celebrate Our Anniversity Depicting 50 Items which Are Currently for Sale [...] an Exhibition to be Held at Agnew's from 9 June to 24 July 1992, exh. cat. (London: Agnew's, 1992), unpaginated, no. 1, ill.

Moncrieff, Elspeth. "Sale-ing through the Centuries." The Art Quarterly of The National Art Collections Fund, no. 10 (Summer 1992), p. 36, ill.

"Acquisitions/1992." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 21 (1993), p. 115, no. 20, figs. 20.1-20.2.

Spike, John T. Fra Angelico (New York: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1996), pp. 252-53, no. 111, figs. 111a-b.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 2, ill.

Bonsanti, Giorgio. Beato Angelico: catalogo completo (Florence: Octavo, 1998), p. 122, no. 23, ill.

Dean, Clay, et al., eds. Rediscovering Fra Angelico: A Fragmentary History, exh. cat. (New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), pp. 7-39, pls. 1, 3, figs. 4-5, cover ill.

Kanter, Laurence, and Pia Palladino. Fra Angelico, exh. cat. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005), pp. 95-97, nos. 16a-b, fig. 57.

Scudieri, Magnolia. "Sfogliando il graduale 558." Fra Giovanni Angelico: Pittore miniatore o miniatore pittore?, exh. cat. (Florence: Museo di San Marco, with Giunti, 2007), pp. 49-51, 57n44, 57n45, figs. 43-44.

Silver, Nathaniel, ed. Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth, exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, with Paul Holberton Publishing, 2018), p. 172, entry by Nathaniel Silver, ill. (verso).

Allan, Scott, Davide Gasparotto, Peter Björn Kerber, and Anne T. Woollett. Masterpieces of Painting: J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2018), pp. 6, 30, ill.

Strehlke, Carl Brandon, ed. Fra Angelico and the Rise of the Florentine Renaissance, exh. cat. (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado, 2019), p. 108, under no. 13.

MacLennan, Douglas, et al. "Visualizing and measuring gold leaf in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Italian gold ground paintings using scanning macro X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy: a new tool for advancing art historical research." Heritage Science 7, no. 25 (2019), pp. 3, 6, 7, fig. 3a.