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Saint Prosper (a Bishop Saint)


This painting St. Prosper is commonly attributed to a follower of Jacopo del Casentino, an artist active in the first half of the 14th century. Jacopo's art embodied characteristics of both Sienese and Florentine, being descriptive and monumental, as well as  simultaneously colorful and sculptural. The face of this figure is starkly painted, leading scholars to suggest that it is the product of a follower of Jacopo rather than Jacopo himself.  Jacopo and his followers belonged to a generation deeply influenced by the stylistic innovations of Giotto.

This figure's three-quarter profile and sidelong glance strongly directed toward the right, lead experts to believe this panel was the extreme left wing of a five-part polytych. The central portion of that polytych is a Madonna now in the Vatican. This work may have originally come from the Church of San Prospero in Cambiano, suggesting an identification of this bishop with the patron saint. The figure's attribution remains tentative, and the figure also bears a very strong resemblance to a Jacopo's "St.  Nicholas" in the Accademia Delle Belle Arti in Florence.  However, none of the attributes of Nicholas are in this work.

Artist: Follower of Jacopo del Casentino

Title: Saint Prosper (a Bishop Saint)

Medium: Tempera and gold leaf on panel

Dates: Early to Mid 14th Century

Dimensions: 29.5 in. x 14 in.

Culture: Italian, European

Accession Number: A1961.17.2

Credit: Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Tags: 14th century, bishop, christianity, gold leaf, italian, jacopo, painting, panel, religious, saint, saint prosper, tempera