European Painting before 1900, Johnson Collection
Virgin and Child, with Saints Mary Magdalene, James Major, Stephen, and a Bishop Saint
AltarpieceMade in Italy, Europe
Allegretto di Nuzio, also called Allegretto Nuzi, Italian (active Fabriano and Florence), first documented 1345, died 1373
Tempera, silver, and tooled gold on panels with vertical grain
Cat. 5John G. Johnson Collection, 1917
LabelMary Magdalene holds a jar that contained the perfume she used to bathe Christ's feet. James the Great holds a staff and scallop shell like those carried by pilgrims to his burial site in Spain. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, holds a palm frond, the symbol of martyrdom. Several stones rest on his head, a reminder that he was executed by stoning. The last saint on the right bears no clear attribute other than a bishop's robes. In the late 1800s, when the altarpiece received a new frame, the bishop was identified as Nicholas of Bari, but he is more likely Zenobius, an early bishop of Florence.
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