Collection Online

Madonna and Child with Saint John the Evangelist, Saint John the Baptist, Saint James of Compostela and Saint Nicholas of Bari
(c. 1388-1390)

tempera and gold on wood panel
97.5 × 53.5 cm
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of two anonymous donors, Neilma Gantner, Honorary Life Benefactor, Paula Fox, Governor, Lady Reid, Governor and the proceeds of the Inaugural Fundraising Dinner at NGV International, 2003
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
14th - 16th Century Gallery - Painting & Decorative Arts
Level 1, NGV International

Private collection, London, 1950–89 included in Sotheby's sale, London, 18 October, 1989, no. 122 private collection, in care of Matthiesen Gallery (dealer), London, from 1989 acquired from Matthiesen Gallery for the NGV through the NGV Foundation, 2003.

This panel formed the central scene in a private altarpiece. Painted by Agnoli Gaddi, a gifted follower of Giotto, it shows the Florentine Gothic style at its most refined. The work’s bittersweet pathos is also distinctively Gothic. The thorn-dwelling finch in Christ’s hand alludes to the Crown of Thorns that Christ will later wear, while the white veil bunched in his other hand is the garment with which Mary will later wipe her tears. The selection of saints flanking the Virgin and Child probably reflects the interests of the panel’s owner. The Apostle James (upper left) was especially popular among pilgrims.


Reproduction, 2008, based on late 14th century Florentine altarpiece frames