Saint Christopher with the Child and Sts. Anthony, Catherine and Lucy

Saint Christopher with the Child and Sts. Anthony, Catherine and Lucy
Artist:
Luca Spinello Aretino (Italian, c.1350-1410)
Date:
late 14th century
Medium:
Tempera and gold leaf on panel 
Dimensions:
8 x 13-1/4 in. (20.3 x 33.7 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
F.1965.1.062.P 
Copyright:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View
Description

A native of Arezzo in the region of Tuscany, Spinello was likely born in the mid-fourteenth century. He is recorded as working in Lucca, Pisa and Siena in addition to his birthplace, and the fact that he received numerous commissions shows that his artistic skills were clearly valued. In Florence he worked on an important polyptych for the Church of Santa Felicità, one of the oldest early Christian churches in the city.

Spinello’s characterization of each of the four saints here is both lively and specific to their personalities. The striding motion of Christopher, patron saint of travelers, who digs his staff into a stream—cleverly indicated by flowing lines of white pigment—conveys a physicality distinct from the self-contained and static pose of the elderly Anthony the Abbot, the founder of monasticism. A similar individualization characterizes the two female saints: Catherine, who stands on a wheel, the symbol of her martyrdom, and the martyred Lucy, whose name means “light.”

Provenance:

Otto H. Kahn (d. 1924), New York.
Walter S. Coyne.
Marriott Trust, New Jersey, sold 27 March 1961 to;
[Duveen Bros., New York, stock no. 30373, sold 1965 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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