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Saint Thomas Receiving the Virgin's Belt with Saints Michael Archangel, Augustine, Margaret of Antioch, and Catherine of Alexandria

Main panel of an altarpiece from San Michele, Prato, finished in 1467; the predella is in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona (64972)

Neri di Bicci, Italian (active Florence), 1419 - January 4, 1493

Made in Florence, Italy, Europe


Tempera, tooled gold, and silver on panel with vertical grain

61 1/4 × 60 7/8 inches (155.6 × 154.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 311, European Art 1100-1500, third floor

Accession Number:
Cat. 27

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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The apostle Thomas, who is often called Doubting Thomas because he refused to believe in the Resurrection of Christ until he had touched Christ's wounds, also doubted the Virgin's Assumption. This panel shows the Virgin Mary lowering her belt to Thomas from Heaven to convince him that she has been lifted there after her death.

The panel comes from an altarpiece commissioned by the abbess of the convent of San Michele in Prato, near Florence. She chose this story because a relic thought to be the Virgin's belt was preserved in the principal church of Prato.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.