Saints Procopius and Adalbert

Date: ca. 1340–50

Geography: Made in Prague

Culture: Bohemian

Medium: Tempera and gold leaf on panel

Dimensions: Overall: 8 3/16 × 6 3/8 × 9/16 in. (20.8 × 16.2 × 1.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings-Panels

Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 2013

Accession Number: 2013.272

Description

The stylistic hallmarks of painters in Prague emerged very quickly after the establishment of their guild in 1348 and can be seen on this panel: the vibrant palette with quiet highlights, the painstakingly realized, subtle modulation of the faces, the elongated fingers, and the delicate punched haloes. Technical hallmarks found in Bohemian work include the use of linen over panel, the black outlines of the drapery, and the use of punchwork to enliven the gold ground.

Artists working in the capital were also called upon to depict the heroic saints of the realm, including Procopius, the sainted Slavic bishop; and Adalbert, the first bishop of Prague. The other half of this diptych, intended for private prayer, likely represented the royal saint Wenceslas, paired with Vitus, patron of the cathedral.

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