This painting is part of the group: The Demidoff Altarpiece

This panel showing Saint Thomas Aquinas is part of the large 'Demidoff Altarpiece' made for the high altar of San Domenico in Ascoli Piceno, east central Italy.

Born in Italy in around 1225, Thomas's father had him educated in preparation for high office. However, while studying at Naples University, the young Aquinas came into contact with the brothers of Saint Dominic, an order of monks dedicated to poverty and teaching, and decided to join them. His father sent his brothers to bring him home where he was imprisoned for two years until his father finally accepted his son's vocation.

Aquinas spent his life teaching and studying, producing one of the most important texts of the Catholic Church, the 'Summa Theologica'.

Aquinas is often shown with a sun on his chest (a symbol of sacred learning), and a pen, although Crivelli gives him a book instead. The artist also shows him holding a church which he has painted in extraordinary detail. Use the zoom to look at its chipped masonry and the plants growing out of the brickwork. Its spire has clearly been repaired, and there is even a tiny figure visible in the doorway.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
about 1430/5 - about 1494
Full title
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Group
Date made
1476
Medium and support
Tempera on poplar
Dimensions
60.5 x 39.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1868
Inventory number
NG788.9
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: The Demidoff Altarpiece

Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli, 'The Virgin and Child'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli, Saint John the Baptist
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli, 'Saint Peter'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Catherine of Alexandria'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Dominic'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Francis'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Andrew'
Painting
Carlo Crivelli
1476
Carlo Crivelli: 'Saint Stephen'