After Prague became the capital of Bohemia and the seat of a new archbishopric in the mid-fourteenth century, the city’s artists were often called upon to depict the heroic saints of the realm. This precious panel, intended for private prayer, shows Procopius, the sainted Slavic abbot (at left) and Adalbert, the first bishop of Prague (at right). It was originally paired with a second panel, likely representing "good king Wenceslas" and Saint Vitus, patron of Prague cathedral.
The stylistic hallmarks of painting in Prague emerged very quickly after the establishment of a painter’s guild in 1348 and are evident here in the vibrant palette, subtle modeling of the faces, elongated fingers, and delicately punched haloes. Bohemian artists typically painted on linen over panel; the black outlines of the drapery are also characteristic.
In Switzerland(by 1925) ; Eckhart collection, Switzerland ; Wydler family collection(ca. 1970) ; Art Market, Switzerland ; [ Edward Speelman, London (1982)] ; Private Collection, Lugano(2005) ; Ezio Benappi, Turin (ca. 1996) ; [ S. Mehringer, Munich (sold 2013)]
Suckale, Robert. Stil und Funktion: ausgewählte Schriften zur Kunst des Mittelalters. Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2003. pp. 140–41, fig. 9.
Boehm, Barbara Drake, and Jiri Fajt, ed. Prague: The Crown of Bohemia, 1347–1437. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 38, p. 171.
Schmidt, Gerhard. Malerei der Gotik: Fixpunkte und Ausblicke. Vol. 1. Graz: Akademische Druck-u.Verlagsanstalt, 2005. p. 258.
Fajt, Jiri, and Barbara Drake Boehm, ed. Karl IV., Kaiser von Gottes Gnaden: Kunst und Repräsentation des Hauses Luxemburg 1310-1437. Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2006. no. 3, p. 79.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 2012-2014." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 72, no. 2 (Fall 2014). p. 19.