(b. ca. 1400, Vicchio nell Mugello, d. 1455, Roma)

Cortona Polyptych

c. 1437
Tempera and gold on panel, 218 x 240 cm
Museo Diocesano, Cortona

This polyptych, as shown by the recent restoration work, emerges from the combination of three wood panels of which it is formed, put together with the upper part and the border below. Therefore the three works must have been painted at different times and for different reasons. On the top are represented the Annunciation and the Crucifixion. In the middle of the polyptych there is a Virgin and Child. On the left Sts John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, while on the right Sts Matthew and Mary Magdalen are represented. On the predella episodes from the life of St Dominic, and other images of saints and angels are represented.

Art critics tend to date the older wood painting, the one with the Virgin, to 1434 and the complete work to 1437.

The triptych was placed on a lateral altar in the church of St Dominic in Cortona. At the beginning of the Second World War it was immured in the belfry where the wood suffered much damage due to humidity and temperatures. It was necessary to detach the painted surface and transfer it to a new base. It has been restored after many succeeding interventions. Unfortunately, it has lost its original solidity and need continuous reexamination.