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Andrea del Verrocchio (workshop of) Biagio d'Antonio

Alternate title

Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saint Catherine of Siena, a Holy Bishop, Saint Peter Martyr, Saint Vincent of Ferrer, Saint James the Greater and Two Angels


Andrea del Verrocchio (workshop of) Florence, 1435 – Venice, 1488

Biagio d'Antonio Florence, 1446 – Florence, 1516

Culture Italian
Date late 1460s
Object type painting
Medium, technique tempera and gold on wood

168 × 177.5 cm

Inventory number 1386
Collection Old Master Paintings
On view Museum of Fine Arts, First Floor, European Art 1250-1600, Gallery XIII

A characteristic type of Renaissance altarpiece was born in the first half of the fifteenth century as a result of innovations by the Florentine masters Donatello, Masaccio, Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi. A single rectangular panel forms the centre of the altarpiece. The enthroned Virgin and Child are flanked by standing saints in a space precisely calculated on the basis of linear perspective. The space is cut off at the back by a structure imitating ancient architectural elements, with a view to a Mediterranean garden and the natural sky behind. Uniform lighting plays an important role in the rendering of space.

The work originates from the female Dominican convent of San Domenico del Maglio in Florence, and commemorates the 1461 canonisation of Saint Catherine of Siena, a Dominican tertiary portrayed kneeling in the foreground. Saint Peter Martyr, the former spiritual leader of the community of San Domenico del Maglio, presents Catherine to the infant Christ and the Virgin with a conventional gesture of patronage.

According to the sixteenth-century artists’ biographer Giorgio Vasari, the picture is an autograph work by the famous sculptor and painter Andrea del Verrocchio. The style, however, suggests that Verrocchio only outlined the composition, leaving the execution to his students, in particular, to Biagio d’Antonio.


Pigler, Andor, Katalog der Galerie Alter Meister, 1-2. Museum der Bildenden Künste, Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest. 2, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1967, p. 750-752.

Botticelli to Titian: Two Centuries of Italian Masterpieces, Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest, 2009, p. 130-131, no. 6.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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