Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Presentation Scene with Saint Peter Martyr and Three Donors

Giovanni di Balduccio (Italian, active 1318–49)
ca. 1340
Made in Milan, Lombardy, Italy
Overall: 31 1/2 x 33 7/8 x 5 11/16in. (80 x 86 x 14.5cm)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 2001
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 8
Trained in Pisa, Giovanni di Balduccio is noted for bringing the innovations of Tuscan sculptors to northern Italy. With quiet monumentality, this panel depicts the standing image of the bearded Saint Peter Martyr (d. 1252) wearing Dominican garb. The head wound, his primary attribute, is clearly visible along with a (restored) palm of martyrdom in his right hand. The saint's cloak, held open by his outstretched arms, frames three praying donor figures, while he places his hands on the heads of the oldest and the youngest of them. This relief is carved in a white fine-grained marble set into a frame of slightly coarser, grayer marble.

The sculpture is one of three marble panels to survive from a tomb originally in the Milanese church of Sant'Eustorgio. The damaged central panel (Castello Sforzesco, Milan) depicts the Enthroned Virgin and Child between two angels, and the relief originally on the viewer's left (Saint'Eustorgio, Milan) shows Saint John the Baptist with four kneeling donors in a composition that mirrors the Museum's panel, which must have been on the right. Details such as the molding beneath the ledge supporting the figures and the buttons on the undersides of the sleeves suggest that the reliefs were intended to be above eye level.
Probably from the tomb of Uberto III Visconti, from the church of Sant' Eustorgio, Milan.; [ Antichità Il Cartiglio, Florence (sold 2001)]
Milan. Palazzo Reale. "Arte lombarda dai Visconti agli Sforza: Milano al centro dell'Europa," March 12–June 28, 2015.

Caffi, Michele. Della Chiesa di Sant'Eustorgio in Milano: Illustrazione storico-monumentale epigrafica. Milan, 1841. p. 136.

Mongeri, Giuseppe. L'arte in Milano: Note per servire di guida nella città. Bologna: Forni Editore, 1872. p. 56.

Vigezzi, Silvio. "Catalogo descrittivo, ragionato e critico delle sculture esistenti nella Basilica di Sant'Eustorgio in Milano." Archivio Storico Lombardo, 6th ser., 60, no. 3 (1933). p. 223.

Bossaglia, Rossana. "La scultura." In La Basilica di Sant'Eustorgio in Milano, edited by Gian Alberto Dell'Acqua. Milan: Banca Popolare di Milano, 1984. p. 94.

Novello, Roberto Paolo. "Giovanni di Balduccio da Pisa." PhD diss., Università degli Studi di Pisa, 1990. pp. 293-96, nn. 18a, 18b.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2000-2001." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 59, no. 2 (Fall 2001). pp. 18-19.

Page, Amy. "100 Top Treasures: Quite a Relief." Art and Antiques 25, no. 11 (November 2002). p. 75.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 67, pp. 102–103, 196.

Caglioti, Francesco. "Giovanni di Balduccio a Bologna: L''Annunciazione' per la rocca papale di Porta Galliera (con una digressione sulla cronologia napoletana e bolognese di Giotto)." Prospettiva 117-118 (January-April 2005). p. 48, n. 6, fig. 51.

Barnet, Peter. "Recent Acquisitions (1999-2008) of Medieval Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters, New York: Supplement." The Burlington Magazine 150, no. 1268 (November 2008). p. 798, fig. XV.

Parenti, Daniela, ed. Giovanni da Milano: Capolavori del Gotico fra Lombardia e Toscana. Florence: Firenze Musei, 2008. p. 140, ill. p. 142.

Barnet, Peter. "Medieval Europe." In Philippe de Montebello and The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1977–2008, edited by James R. Houghton. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009. p. 24.

Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Lisbeth, and Jack Soultanian. Italian Medieval Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010. no. 39, pp. 175–179.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 105.

Natale, Mauro, and Serena Romano, ed. Arte lombarda dai Visconti agli Sforza. Milan: Palazzo Reale, 2015. no. I.13b, pp. 99-100, fig. I.13b, ill. p. 68.

Rossetti, Edoardo. "'Poi fu la biassa'. Due dinastie, una città e non solo." In Arte lombarda dai Visconti agli Sforza, edited by Mauro Natale, and Serena Romano. Milan: Palazzo Reale, 2015. p. 24, (as no. I.13).

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