Giovanni di Bartolommeo Cristiani (Italian, Florentine, active 1367–98)
Tempera on wood, gold ground
(.4 and .3) 9 3/4 x 15 1/8 in. (24.8 x 38.4 cm); (.1) 9 1/2 x 15 1/4 in. (24.1 x 38.7 cm); (.2) 10 x 15 in. (25.4 x 38.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1912 (12.41.1–4)
Saint Lucy was martyred in 303, at the height of Diocletian's persecutions of the Christians, for proclaiming her faith and distributing her goods to the poor. These four scenes of her life include Saint Agatha appearing to Lucy in a vision and foretelling the healing of her mother; the distribution of her inheritance; her refusal to sacrifice to idols; and the failure of oxen to drag her to a brothel. A further scene showing her Last Communion and Martyrdom belongs to a private collection, while a sixth is known from an engraving. The narrative scenes may have originally flanked an image of Saint Lucy Enthroned (New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery). Cristiani was active principally in the Tuscan city of Pistoia, and these are among his most attractive paintings.