Description This panel was originally part of a “predella,” an illustrated horizontal base of a large altarpiece. At the center is Jesus Christ as the "Man of Sorrows" dead yet upright and displaying his wounds to the viewer. He is flanked by the mourning Virgin Mary (left) and the apostle John (right). The figures are shown as if emerging from circular openings carved into a wall, an original interpretation of the Renaissance characterization of painting as a window onto another realm. The panel is a typical work by Bartolomeo di Tommaso, active during the second quarter of the 15th century primarily in his native region of Umbria in central Italy. Bartolomeo also worked for Pope Nicholas V in Rome from 1451-52. The foliate motifs on the fictive wall surrounding the figures in the Walters’ panel are derived from the designs carved on ancient Roman sarcophagi, suggesting a date around the time of Bartolomeo’s Roman sojourn. The main panel of the altarpiece to which the predella belongs has not been identified. For another predella panel by Bartolomeo di Tommaso at the Walters, see 37.456.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1897 catalogue: no. 62, as Tuscan School]; 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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