European Painting before 1900, Johnson Collection
Reliquary Bust of Saint Benedict of NursiaMade in Italy, Europe
Late 15th century
Artist/maker unknown, Italian
Painted and gilded wood
Cat. 1135John G. Johnson Collection, 1917
LabelThis bust can be identified as the Abbot Saint Benedict of Nursia (died 547) by the portrait of his sister, Saint Scholastica (died 543), on the back of his cope. A reliquary, it would have contained a piece of the saint's remains. Although the sculptor is unknown, the painting is by the Florentine artist Biagio d'Antonio (documented 1476–1504).
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