Saint Nicholas Providing Dowries

Bicci di Lorenzo Italian

Not on view

In the top scene, Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (270–343)—the original "Saint Nick"—is shown throwing three balls of gold through a window, providing the dowry of three poverty-stricken maidens. In the other painting he resuscitates three youths who had been pickled by an innkeeper during a famine (a story treated by Benjamin Britten in his 1948 cantata, Saint Nicholas).

The panels formed the base (predella) of an altarpiece painted between 1433 and 1435 for a monastery in Florence. Their design was based on an altarpiece by Gentile da Fabriano of 1425.

Saint Nicholas Providing Dowries, Bicci di Lorenzo (Italian, Florence 1373–1452 Florence), Tempera and gold on wood

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