Skip to main content

Domenico Ghirlandaio, A Legend of Saints Justus and Clement of Volterra

Key facts
Full title A Legend of Saints Justus and Clement of Volterra
Artist Domenico Ghirlandaio
Artist dates 1449 - 1494
Date made probably 1479
Medium and support Tempera on wood
Dimensions 14 × 39.4 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Lady Lindsay, 1912
Inventory number NG2902
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
A Legend of Saints Justus and Clement of Volterra
Domenico Ghirlandaio

This scene shows Saints Clement and Justus coming to the aid of the citizens of Volterra – the town was under siege by the Vandals, a Germanic tribe. The people were starving until, in answer to the saints‘ prayers, the granaries were miraculously filled and it was finally possible to bake some bread.

The saints appear at the gates of the city, offering bread to their enemies following the instruction of the Book of Romans, which teaches: ’if thine enemy hunger, feed him' (Romans 12: 20). Some of the soldiers here rip off round rolls from a larger loaf. Well-fed, they end the siege.

This panel was part of a predella, the lowest part of an altarpiece. The altarpiece, the main panel of which is now in the Uffizi, Florence, was probably painted in 1479 for San Giusto alle Mura, a church just outside Florence that was dedicated to Saint Justus.

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