STARNINA, Gherardo di Jacopo
(b. ca. 1354, Firenze, d. 1409/13, Firenze)

St Hugh of Lincoln and St Benedict of Nursia

Tempera and gold leaf on panel, 100 x 71 cm
Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

This is a fragment which originally formed part of a polyptych consisting of a corpus with two wings. Judging from the angle at which the saint at right is standing, it probably served as the right wing, as the saint seems to be turning to the central scene of the corpus. Formerly the painting was attributed to the Master of the Bambino Vispo.

The two saints are standing on a golden carpet or gold brocade, achieved by sgraffito technique, and against a gilded background. The bishop saint, identified as St Hugh of Lincoln (1135-1200), one of the first Carthusian saints, is dressed in pontificals and a mitre, holding a crozier in his left hand and raising his right hand in a blessing gesture. He is wearing a white Carthusian cloak and a mantle made of ultramarine blue with a pattern of golden crosses and a green border with plant ornamentation punched into the surface of the painting, which gives the dress a plastic texture.

The saint to the right is one of the most important saints for the entire monastic community, St Benedict of Nursia (480-543) is holding a book in his left hand and a birch rod in his right, common attributes in other depictions of this saint.

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