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Simone di Filippo da Bologna,
called Simone dei Crocifissi
Bologna, Italy, ca. 1330-99
Madonna and Child with Christ as the Man of Sorrows (center panel), 1360s.
St. Peter and the Archangel Gabriel (left panel)
St. Paul and the Virgin Annunciate (right panel)
Tempera on gold ground panel.
A miniature, portable altarpiece for private devotion. Simone, the leading painter in Bologna in the later 14th Century, made his name with several monumental depictions of the crucifixion, but he later specialized in this type of work. With the central image referring to God's incarnation, the Man of Sorrows its consequence in the Passion, and saints Peter and Paul, these panels are a synopsis of the principal mysteries and foundation of the church. The dark under-painting, relatively loose handling, and unpretentious personalities are characteristic of the Bolognese school of the period. The condition of the work is exceptional, with the surface practically undisturbed, the gold leaf showing the pattern of its application, and even the elaborate architecture of the frame intact.