UNKNOWN MASTER, French
The Bargello Diptych1380s
Tempera on wood, 50 X 31 cm (each)
Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence
The left-hand panel of this diptych depicts the adoration of the Infant Jesus by the Magi; the right-hand panel represents the Crucifixion. This is another of the pictures whose origin has been the subject of considerable speculation among scholars, for the international uniformity which is the hallmark of the International Gothic style has led to the picture being ascribed to Avignon, Paris, Franco-Flemish, Austrian and Bohemian artists. Perhaps the closest analogy can be found in the works of the Master of Trebon (the folds of the Virgin's mantle, undulating in a similar manner, or the insubstantial birds on the roof of the Bethlehem stable). On the other hand, these details could be coincidental, or derived from a common source; until the coat of arms on the ornate bed can be positively identified these questions will remain open to speculation.