Saints and Scenes from the Life of the Virgin

Master of Monte Oliveto Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 601

These wood panels were once wings for a portable triptych that could close, hiding the now-missing center panel. Rather than flat wooden supports that were then framed, these panels are examples of “engaged frames,” in which the same piece of wood has been carved to create both the pictorial surface and its frame. This was particularly useful in early periods when paintings were frequently integrated into complex, architecturally inspired altarpieces. The anonymous artist of these panels based his compositions on a famous altarpiece by Duccio di Buoninsegna found in the Cathedral of Siena.

Saints and Scenes from the Life of the Virgin, Master of Monte Oliveto (Italian, active Siena ca. 1305–35), Tempera on wood, gold ground

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