Skip to main content

Francesco del Cossa, Saint Vincent Ferrer

Key facts
Full title Saint Vincent Ferrer
Artist Francesco del Cossa
Artist dates about 1435/6 - about 1477/8
Date made probably about 1473-5
Medium and support Egg on poplar
Dimensions 153.7 × 59.7 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1858
Inventory number NG597
Location Gallery E
Collection Main Collection
Saint Vincent Ferrer
Francesco del Cossa

Saint Vincent Ferrer was a Spanish friar and missionary, and a member of the Dominican Order (the religious order founded by Saint Dominic); he was officially declared a saint in 1455. He is shown raising a finger demonstratively: he was known as a passionate preacher whose stirring sermons sometimes led his followers to self-flagellation.

Above, Christ is seated in a mandorla (an almond-shaped enclosure) – a traditional way of symbolising heaven. The angels who surround him carry symbols of his suffering and death, and balance on clouds that look sturdy, as though they are carved from stone. Cossa had an interest in sculpture and painting stone; his father was a sculptor and it’s possible that he too practised sculpture.

This panel formed the central part of an altarpiece commissioned by Floriano Griffoni for his family’s chapel in the church of San Petronio, the main church in Bologna. It was part of a vast altarpiece – one of Cossa’s major works.

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