Simone Martini (about 1284 – 1344)

Saint John the Evangelist

Siena, 1320

Tempera on wood

41.7 x 30.3 cm

This originally formed the right-hand panel of three – a triptych. 

The others would have shown the dead Christ in the centre, with the grieving Virgin Mary to the left.  Saint John’s sorrow was a reaction to Christ’s crucifixion.  The panels could be folded up and used as a private and portable devotional aid on journeys. Simone dated the work on the original frame.  There is no signature, but the refined use of colour, the elegant borders to the drapery and the fine decoration in the gilding are characteristic of this innovative artist.

Purchased 1938 (No.38.12)

THIS PAINTING IS NOT CURRENTLY ON DISPLAY

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23 February 2021

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