Saints John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalene

Italian, Neapolitan Follower of Giotto

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 952

This painting, together with a panel portraying the Virgin and the Dead Christ (National Gallery, London), originally formed a diptych (two panels hinged together that could be opened and closed). The painting illustrates the formative influence that the Florentine master Giotto, a pivotal figure in Western art, had in Naples during his activity there from 1328 to 1332. The diptych was likely painted by a member of Giotto’s workshop in Naples, who was active on the frescoes in the Church of Santa Chiara. Giotto's Neapolitan workshop may have continued to operate after he returned to Florence in 1333. The monumentality of the figures, which protrude outside the painted framework, together with their expressive gestures of grief, intensify the dramatic quality of this work, which was probably made for private devotion. The diptych may have been commissioned by Queen Sancia of Naples (1286-1345), the wife of King Robert of Anjou, who was particularly devoted to Mary Magdalene and was the founder of Santa Chiara.

Saints John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalene, Italian, Neapolitan Follower of Giotto (active second third of the 14th century), Tempera on wood, gold ground

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