Giovanni Ambrogio Bevilacqua
Milan (?), 1460-ca. 1516
St. Augustine, St. Jerome, ca. 1500
Tempera with gold leaf on wood panel.
These two panels represent St. Augustine and St. Jerome at study. With Ambrose and Gregory, they comprised the Doctors of the Church, the most important early Christian theologians. The size, matching shapes, and low viewpoint of these panels indicate that they originally formed the upper corners of a two-staged, multi-paneled altarpiece. Such polytychs with their sharply defined shapes and bright colors remained popular with conservative patrons into early 16th–century Milan. Bevilacqua was a leading painter of this stylistic tendency.