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

The Healing of Palladia by Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian

1438-40
Tempera and gold on panel, 36 x 46 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The predella of the San Marco Altarpiece contained scenes from the lives of Sts Cosmas and Damian. According to the reconstruction, the predella consisted of seven frontal and two lateral panels. The narratives that extended continuously across the foot of the altarpiece were conceived with great imagination as well as geometric rigour.

On this picture, which was placed on the left lateral side of the predella, two consecutive episodes are shown. On the left the two Arab physicians effect a miraculous cure; on the right Saint Damian, contrary to his vows, unwillingly accepts a gift.