Skip to main content

Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze, The Virgin and Child with Ten Saints

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child with Ten Saints
Artist Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze
Artist dates documented 1346; died 1379
Date made about 1365-70
Medium and support Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions 28 × 105.8 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Mrs Richard F.P. Blennerhassett, 1940
Inventory number NG5115
Location Gallery F
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child with Ten Saints
Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze

The Virgin and Child are surrounded by saints, each occupying a separate arched compartment bounded by spiral columns. The design is highly unusual and is not known in any other Italian paintings of the period. Its shape and layout have a very specific function: they map the Florentine Church of Santa Maria Novella, the city’s main church belonging to the Dominicans, the order of friars founded by Saint Dominic.

Each saint represents a chapel dedicated to them at the eastern end of the church. This explains why only three of the evangelists are shown, with the animals that became their symbols: Saint Mark with the lion, Saint Luke with the ox and Saint John with the eagle. Saint Matthew is missing because the church didn't have a chapel dedicated to him. It also explains the inclusion of three Dominican saints wearing the Order’s black cloaks. The sequence of saints in the panel mirrors that of the chapels on either side of the central altar, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo