San Bernardino, an important fifteenth-century Franciscan preacher, is portrayed wearing the habit of his order while holding a tablet inscribed with the sacred mongram YHS, surrounded by the inscription IN NOMINE YHV/ OMNE. GENV. / FLETATUR./ CELESTIUM/ TERESTI ET INFERNORV. The reverse is gessoed and painted off-white, suggesting that the panel was designed for private devotional use and did not form part of the pillasters or predella of an altarpiece. The panel was likely painted by a member of Sano di Pietro's workshop. Sano was a popular and highly prolific Sienese painter and illuminator. The close stylistic affinities between works attributed to Sano and the enigmatic Sienese artist known as the Osservanza Master (so-named after the above-mentioned triptych in the Osservanza in Siena) may indicate that they represent a single artistic identity. It is also possible that the paintings attributed to the Osservanza Master are the product of a collaborative workshop to which these artists belonged.
Inscription: Inscribed (on red tablet): IN NOMINE YHV. / OMNE. GENV. / FLETATVR. CELESTIVM / TERESTI ET INFERNORV. [At the name of Jesus all in heaven, on earth, and in hell kneel]
Vittorio Forti, Rome; Jandolo, Rome; acquired by Robert Lehman in August 1948.
The Lehman Collection. Exh. cat., Cincinnati, 1959, p. 16, no. 48.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Central Italian and North Italian Schools. Vol. 1, London, 1968, p. 377.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by artists born in or before 1865: A summary catalogue. Vol. 1, New York, 1980, p. 167.
John Pope-Hennessy assisted by Laurence B. Kanter inThe Robert Lehman Collection. Vol. 1, Italian Paintings. New York, 1987, pp. 156-57, no. 66.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 59.