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Massacre of the Innocents
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Massacre of the Innocents

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description In an attempt to thwart the prophecy about Christ's rise to power, King Herod orders his soldiers to kill all the male infants under the age of two living in Bethlehem. They do this with ruthless efficiency. Bartolo's color scheme uses naturalistic details to enhance the drama of the scene. Note the contrast between the rosy coloring of the infants who are still alive and the green pallor of those already dead. This painting, which is beautifully preserved, was part of a monumental altarpiece commissioned for the Church of San Agostino in San Gimignano and was placed atop a large painting of the Presentation in the Temple now in the Museé du Louvre, Paris. The Massacre of the Innocents might have been executed by both Bartolo and Andrea (active 1389-1428), working collaboratively as a father and son team.
Date Description Narrative
1/01/1911Technical Reportexamined for technical study
1/01/1945Treatmentstabilized; other
10/03/1962Treatmentstabilized; coated
4/11/1984Treatmentloss compensation
1/14/1986Treatmentloss compensation
11/03/1994Treatmentstabilized; loss compensation
  • The International Style: The Arts in Europe Around 1400. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1962.
  • Déjà Vu? The Repeating Image in Renaissance and Baroque Art. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2007-2008.
Provenance Church of Sant'Agostino, San Gimignano; Malenotti Collection, San Gimignano [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Cardinal Feschi Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Viscount Bernard d'Hendecourt Collection, Paris, prior to 1914 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Demotte, Paris, 1917 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1917, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] SPQR
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1917

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ca. 1380 (Medieval)
tempera and gold leaf on panel
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 35 1/8 x W: 51 1/8 x D: 1 3/8 in. (89.2 x 129.8 x 3.5 cm); Visible painted surface H: 33 7/16 x W: 49 5/8 in. (85 x 126 cm); Panel H: 33 5/8 x W: 49 7/16 in. (85.4 x 125.5 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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