Reconstitution of a predella by the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt


1. Umbrian School, circa 1500
Saint Augustine Taking the Habit
Oil on panel - 27.5 x 45.6 cm
Frankfurt, Städelsches Kunstinstitut
Photo : Galerie G. Sarti

26/5/09 – Acquisition – Frankfurt, Städelsches Kunstinstitut – The German museum purchased a panel of the Umbrian School circa 1500 representing Saint Augustine Taking the Habit (ill. 1) from the G. Sarti Gallery in Paris. This small painting constitutes the central part of the predella for which the other two elements were already held in Frankfurt (ill. 2 and 3).

The scenes from the two side panels seem to take place in the same architectural space which evokes the nave and the lower sides of a church. These are illustrations of the life of Saint Augustine. On the left (ill. 2), Saint Ambrose Baptizing Saint Augustine ; on the right, Saint Augustine Talking with the Heretic, Fortunatus (ill. 3). The architecture in the central element is slightly different : the two columns in the foreground have disappeared and the background reveals a landscape. The large painting of this dismembered altarpiece which appeared above the predella is unknown, as is the subject.

2. Umbrian School, circa 1500
Saint Ambrose Baptizing Saint Augustine
Oil on panel - 27.5 x 45.6 cm
Frankfurt, Städelsches Kunstinstitut
Photo : D. R.

3. Umbrian School, circa 1500
Saint Augustine Talking with the Heretic, Fortunatus
Oil on panel - 27.5 x 45.6 cm
Frankfurt, Städelsches Kunstinstitut
Photo : D. R.


The artist is probably from Perugino’s circle. Most of the figures are directly inspired by this painter and taken from various works. The central group in the baptism of Saint Augustine, for example, is identical to that in The Baptism of Christ (ill. 4) in the Sistine Chapel (or the one in Città della Pieve) with Augustine replacing Jesus Christ and Ambrose instead of Saint John the Baptist. The two students in the left foreground in the recently acquired panel are almost the same as the figures on the left of the Adoration of the Magi in Città della Pieve.

4. Pietro Perugino (c. 1445-1523)
The Baptism of Christ (detail)
Fresco
Vatican City, Sistine Chapel
Photo : D. R.



Version française


Didier Rykner, mardi 26 mai 2009



imprimer Print this article

Previous article in News Items : First acquisition committee for the Louvre-Abou Dhabi

Next article in News Items : A masterpiece by Giovanni Antonio Sogliani on deposit at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Caen