Description Together with Walters 37.721, this little panel of Saint Anthony Abbot, Christianity's first monk, comes from the “pilaster,” or frame, of an altarpiece (see the similar pilasters on Giovanni di Paolo’s altarpiece, Walters 37.554). Saint Anthony Abbot was popularly venerated during the Renaissance as a model example of learning and piety. He is said to have spent the majority of his life as a hermit in the desert, praying, studying, and resisting earthly temptations. Here he is shown in a typical hermit's guise with an overgrown beard and simple brown cloak, and with his distinctive T-shaped staff and a string of prayer beeds. The figure's elongated proportions and sculptural modeling are typical traits of the painter Girolamo di Benvenuto, who was active primarily in his native city of Siena during the late 15th and early 16th century. The panel was probably painted in the late 1490s, when Girolamo was still working under the influence of his father and teacher, Benvenuto di Giovanni (1436-ca. 1518). For another painting by Girolamo di Benvenuto at the Walters, see 37.743.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1897 catalogue: no. 334, as Bernardino da Perugia]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
Download Image Add to Collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Creative Commons License