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

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