European Painting before 1900, Johnson Collection
Saint Sylvester and the Dragon
Predella panel of an altarpieceMade in Florence, Italy, Europe
Agnolo Gaddi (Agnolo di Taddeo Gaddi), Italian (active Florence), first documented 1369, died 1396
Tempera and tooled gold on panel with horizontal grain
Cat. 9John G. Johnson Collection, 1917
LabelPope Sylvester I (died 335) binds the mouth of a dragon, sealing off its poisonous breath, and revives the two victims who lie in the foreground. The crowned observer on the right is the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (ruled 306–337), who, according to legend, had been cured of leprosy by Sylvester.
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