Description This panel and its companion (37.701) were originally the side panels of a large multi-paneled altarpiece, the other compartments of which are now lost or unidentified. This one depicts Saint James the Less, first bishop of Jerusalem and alleged cousin of Jesus Christ, holding a book, alluding to the epistle (letter directed to all Christians) he is said to have authored, as well as a club, the instrument of his martyrdom. The artist of this panel is unknown but several paintings have been attributed to him on the basis of their similar style. In 1989 the art historian Filippo Todini named him the "Master of the Ranghiasci Polyptych," after a fragmentary altarpiece formerly in the Ranghiasci Collection in Gubbio. According to Todini, the artist was active in the central Italian region of Umbria in the first half of the 15th century. Earlier scholars, however, connected to the paintings to the neighboring region of the Marches.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1881 catalogue: no. 20; 1897 catalogue: no. 33, as school of Angolo Gaddi]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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