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Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Stephen Protomartyr, Philip Bishop, James the Greater and John the Baptist Master of the Bracciolini Chapel

Artist:

Master of the Bracciolini Chapel Pistoia, active in the first third of the 15th century

Date: 1426
Medium: tempera and gold on wood
Dimensions: 146 × 205 cm
Type: painting
Inventory number: 1036
Collection: Old Master Paintings

This work originally stood on the high altar of the church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo in La Ferruccia near Pistoia. Accordingly, on either side of the enthroned Virgin and Child, the patron saints of the church can be seen: the martyr bishop Philip of Heraclea and the apostle Saint James the Greater. As the painter’s true name is unknown, he is referred to as the Master of the Bracciolini Chapel, after another of his identifiable works.
The parish of Ferruccia kept the altarpiece until as recently as 1883, when it was given to a mason in lieu of payment. From there it entered the art trade and was eventually purchased for the National Picture Gallery in Budapest. By that time,
however, the scenes on the predella (or base) depicting the dead Christ and the martyrdom of the four male saints portrayed on the main panels had been dispersed.
The altarpiece is composed of three main parts, a format known as a triptych.

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