Saint Benedict

Segna di Buonaventura Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 601

The presence of Saint Sylvester Gozzolini and Saint Benedict in the lateral panels of this dismembered altarpiece suggest that these fragments formed part of an important commission for an altar in a church of the Silvestrine order (a branch of the Benedictines founded in 1231). The figures above the central panel are Christ flanked by Saints Paul and Peter. Segna most likely trained in the Sienese workshop of his uncle Duccio di Buoninsegna. His figures are very different from the delicately nuanced, affectively human world Duccio explored, and reveal a somewhat austere and regal bearing of an earlier generation. Segna also retained the Byzantine web of gold striations on draperies to enhance the figures’ status as sacred icons.

Saint Benedict, Segna di Buonaventura (Italian, active Siena by 1298–died 1326/31), Tempera on wood, gold ground

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