Saint Vincent Ferrer

This painting is the central panel of an altarpiece from Bologna. It shows Saint Vincent Ferrer, who became a Dominican friar in 1367 and was famous as a preacher and missionary.

He is shown here with a figure of Christ in judgement. This image is associated with Saint Vincent and alludes to his apocalyptic sermons. The prominent pillar may suggest that the saint has similar strength.

The altarpiece was originally in the Griffoni chapel of the church of S. Petronio, Bologna. The frame was paid for shortly after Cossa's arrival in Bologna in 1473, and the paintings were probably made soon afterwards.

The side panels (now in the Brera, Milan) show Saint Peter and Saint John the Baptist. The design is unified through the architecture and the rocky landscape.

A 20th-century copy of the predella panel of the same altarpiece, 'Scenes from the Life of Saint Vincent Ferrer' is also in the Collection.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1435/6 - about 1477/8
Full title
Saint Vincent Ferrer
Date made
probably about 1473-5
Medium and support
Egg on poplar
153.7 x 59.7 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1858
Inventory number
Location in Gallery