LORENZETTI, Ambrogio
(b. ca. 1290, Siena, d. 1348, Siena)

Scenes of the Life of St Nicholas

c. 1332
Tempera on wood
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

In the bottom scene of the first panel depicting stories of St Nicholas, a terrible famine had struck Bishop Nicholas's province. Transiting ships were filled with grain, but when Nicholas asked them to give of their plenty, the sailors refused, fearful of arriving at their final port with less than the whole cargo. Nicholas promised this would not happen. Here angels replenish the ships with grain, fulfilling the bishop's vow.