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St. Nicholas of Tolentino

European Art

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St. Nicholas of Tolentino

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Lorenzo Costa
Italian, ca. 1460–1535

Date

ca. 1480s

Medium

Tempera on panel

Accession #

58.38 b

Dimensions

14 7/8 x 5 1/2 inches (FRAMED IN PAIRS)

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 2, Gallery 204

Description

St. Nicholas of Tolentino is one of eight saints Lorenzo Costa painted in the late 1400s. The graceful figures originally flanked a central devotional image on a monumental altarpiece, likely in or near Bologna, Italy. The saints are identifiable by their attributes and by their names, which are inscribed underneath them in a northern Italian dialect. Devotees used this information to find the saints who were most relevant to their personal needs.

St. Nicholas’s robes indicate that he is an Augustinian friar, while the book of scriptures refers to his work as a preacher. St. Nicholas is said to have had visions of the souls in purgatory and is known as their patron saint.

Credit

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation