Saint Barnabas Being Brought to the Stake
Predella panel from an altarpiece in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena (160); see Philadelphia Museum of Art 1945-25-120a,b,c for companion panels; a fifth predella panel is in the El Paso Museum of Art (K110)
Martino di Bartolomeo (Martino di Bartolomeo di Biagio), Italian (active Siena), 1365/70 - 1435
Saint Barnabas was an early disciple of Christ who appears in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles. The altarpiece from which this predella panel was taken may have come from the Tuscan town of Colle Val d’Elsa, which was conquered by Florentines from the Sienese people on June 11, the saint’s feast day. In this scene of the saint being brought to the stake, the faces of his torturers were scratched in derision by overly pious viewers of the painting.