These two panels from the base (predella) of an altarpiece show three episodes from the Bible: in one Christ is arrested (the naked man is an apostle—John or Mark—fleeing, in accordance with Mark 14:51–52). In the other Christ’s body is mourned and then buried. Bartolomeo di Tommaso is an artist of strikingly modern expressive power, unfettered by the concerns for naturalism embraced by Renaissance painters.
Victor Martin Le Roy, Paris (until d. 1918); Mme Martin Le Roy du Luart (1918–37; sold through Henri Leman to Wildenstein and Brimo de Laroussilhe); [Wildenstein, Paris and New York, and Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris, 1937–50; half-share sold to Laroussilhe]; [Brimo de Laroussilhe, Paris, 1950–58; sold to MMA]
New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "Italian Paintings," 1947, no. 35 (with 58.87.1).
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 50, as in the Martin Le Roy collection, Paris; attributes this painting and 58.87.1 to Bartolomeo di Tommaso and identifies them as predella panels.
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 43.
Bernard Berenson. Letter. March 21, 1938 [see Ref. Wildenstein 1947], states that he remembers the two panels in the Martin Le Roy collection and attributes them to Bartolomeo di Tommaso.
Italian Paintings. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 1947, unpaginated, no. 35, ill., mentions two similar predella panels in the Pinacoteca Vaticana depicting Christ at Gethsemane and the Betrayal; notes the influence of Salimbeni.
Federico Zeri. "Bartolomeo di Tommaso da Foligno." Bollettino d'arte 46 (January–June 1961), pp. 47–48, fig. 10, dates the two panels shortly before 1437.
F[ederico]. Zeri inDizionario biografico degli italiani. Vol. 6, Rome, 1964, p. 776, dates the two panels about 1437.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools. London, 1968, vol. 1, p. 33; vol. 2, pl. 628.
Anna Zanoli. "Un altare di Bartolomeo di Tommaso a Cesena." Paragone 20 (May 1969), pp. 64, 72 n. 3, observes that these two panels belong to a different series from the ones in the Pinacoteca Vaticana and elsewhere.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 17, 295, 609.
Michel Laclotte and Élisabeth Mognetti. Peinture italienne. Paris, 1976, unpaginated, under no. 26.
Mario Sensi. "Documenti per Bartolomeo di Tommaso da Foligno." Paragone 28 (March 1977), p. 123 n. 9.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sienese and Central Italian Schools. New York, 1980, pp. 8–9, pl. 37, note similarities between Sassetta's Sansepolcro altarpiece (commissioned 1437, installed 1444) and the two MMA panels and conclude that they must be close in date.
Michel Laclotte and Élisabeth Mognetti. Avignon, musée du Petit Palais: Peinture italienne. 3rd ed. Paris, 1987, p. 57, under no. 26.
Filippo Todini. La pittura umbra dal Duecento al primo Cinquecento. Milan, 1989, vol. 1, p. 28.
Michel Laclotte and Esther Moench. Peinture italienne: musée du Petit Palais Avignon. new ed. Paris, 2005, p. 69, under no. 27.
This panel and The Betrayal of Christ (58.87.1) were parts of the predella of an unidentified altarpiece.