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Attributed to Lorenzetti, Ambrogio (Italian painter, died ca. 1348) , Head of a Franciscan

Core Record

Title Head of a Franciscan
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to Lorenzetti, Ambrogio (Italian painter, died ca. 1348)
Attributed to Lorenzetti, Pietro (Italian painter, active by 1306, died ca. 1348)
Date Earliest about 1319
Date Latest about 1347
Description This head of a Franciscan saint is probably a fragment of a fresco and almost certainly comes from the same cycle as fragments in the National Gallery, London. It has been identified as part of a series depicting the martyrdom of Franciscans in India, described by Ghiberti in his Commentarii as having been in the cloister of S. Francecso, Siena. The fresco cycle may have been commissioned by the Petroni family at the same time as they commissioned the doorway between cloister and church (1336) and chose St Peter Martyr for inclusion on the sopraporta relief.
Current Accession Number 1960P48
Former Accession Number P.4860
Subject religion (Franciscan saint)
Measurements 31.7 x 27.9 cm cm (estimate)
Material fresco
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by Sir Leonard Woolley through the National Art-Collections Fund 1960.
Provenance Guy Harben.
Principal Exhibitions Italian Art 1200 - 1600, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 1955, cat. no. 67.
Publications Seidel, M., 'Gli affreschi di Ambriogio Lorenzetti nel Chiostro di San Francesco a Siena: ricostruzione e datazione', Prospettiva, 13 - 19, 1979, pp. 10 - 20; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 89.
Notes Examination Report 1987 states that this may be a nineteenth century fake owing to the wooden frame with modern nails.

Seidel attributes this fragment to Ambrogio Lorenzetti and suggests, in his article, that this fragment survives from the west wall of a cycle of frescoes describing the martyrdom of Franciscan friars in India in the cloister of S. Francesco, Siena, as described by Ghiberti in his Commenatrii. He notes that during the late nineteenth century, the convent sold off a number of fresco fragments especially to England, e. g. Chapter House fragments in the National Gallery.

Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth



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