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Madonna and Child Enthroned with Sts. Peter, John the Baptist, Dominic, and Nicholas of Bari

In a lifelike rendering, this large panel portrays a sacra conversazione (holy conversation) where saints surround the Madonna and Child in a unified pictorial space. Piero di Cosimo's approach is far removed from the compartmentalized divisions in Lorenzo di Nicolo's altarpiece elsewhere in this gallery. Here, Saint Peter presents the kneeling Saint Dominic (left) while Saint John the Baptist announces Christ's ministry, and Saint Nicholas kneels in devotion (right). The three smaller panels, called a predella, depict scenes from the lives of Saints Dominic, John, and Nicholas. The Pugliese coat of arms adorns the frame, identifying the Florentine family who commissioned the work for its private chapel.

Credit: Museum Purchase

c. 1481-85
Tempera and oil on panel
69.8 x 47.0 x 5.0 in
1:1940
Image and text © Saint Louis Art Museum

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Saint Louis Art Museum
Saint Louis Art Museum
Permanent collection