GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)

The Stefaneschi Triptych (recto)

c. 1330
Tempera on panel, 220 x 245 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican

The triptych consists of three panels (Crucifixion of St Peter, Christ Enthroned, Beheading of St Paul) and a predella showing the Virgin on a throne holding the Christ Child and flanked by the Apostles. The back of the altarpiece is also painted, St James and St Paul, St Peter Enthroned, St Andrew and St John the Evangelist are represented on the three panels.

The golden background and the rich coloring of the very delicate painting allow the side showing Christ to shine with particular splendor. Christ, delivering benediction, is enthroned in the center and surrounded by a host of angels. The representation of Virgin Mary and Child on the predella emphasizes the central axis of the altarpiece. Apostles surround Mary.