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Saint Anthony, c.1335-45

French School

Fresco transferred to panel
39-1/4 x 33-1/2 in. (99.7 x 85.1 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1965.1.025.P

On view

This rare but greatly damaged fresco is one of the earliest pieces included in the Duveen stock. Perhaps as a result of transferring the fresco to a wood panel, the condition of this fourteenth-century fragment has suffered greatly: it remains largely overpainted, especially in the areas of the face and hands. St. Anthony is shown in the habit of a Franciscan, holding a staff and a black bell; stylized linear decorations encompass the figure, giving the appearance of a cell, a niche, or a framed window. While one sees Sienese or Italian stylistic influences, the piece is generally rendered in the linear fashion of the French Gothic, which fields speculation that the fresco was made by an artist active in the School of Avignon in the southeastern part of France in the mid-fourteenth to mid-fifteenth century.

A companion piece depicting a half-length St. Catherine of Alexandria once accompanied this fourteenth-century fresco. Both paintings had entered the Duveen collection in 1941, having come from the André Weill collection, but by May 1960 the two pieces were separated when the St. Catherine was sold to the David-Weill family. The St. Catherine companion piece still remains in that collection.

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