GIOVANNI DEL BIONDO
(active 1356-1399 in Florence)

The Virgin of the Apocalypse with Saints and Angels

c. 1391
Tempera and gold on wood, 75 x 43 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican

This panel was commissioned for the funerary chapel of a member of the Third Order of the Franciscans, whose family coat of arms is visible on the shields.

In the central image of the panel, the Virgin is represented as a queen standing on a raised platform. The details of the representation were inspired by John's vision in the Book of Revelation.

On either side of the Virgin are four male and four female saints. On her right are Francis of Assisi, who wears a habit and has radiating stigmata on his hands; Lawrence, with a palm frond and the grill he was martyred on; Anthony Abbot, carrying the book and pilgrim's staff; and finally Stephen, who is kneeling, carrying the crusaders' banner and the book. He has stones on the crown of his head, a symbol of his martyrdom. On the Virgin's left are the female saints: Clare of Assisi with the lily; one with a burning heart in her hand, who must be Bridget of Sweden. Next to her is Catherine of Alexandria, with the crown and the wheel, followed by Mary Magdalene, who is covered in her long blond hair and kneeling in a penitential pose.

In the upper corners of the panel is the Annunciation.




© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil KrÚn and Daniel Marx.