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The Laderchi Altarpiece from San Domenico, Faenza


These two panel paintings formed the altarpiece for the Laderchi chapel in S. Andrea in Vineis, Faenza (the church was rebuilt in the eighteenth century and rededicated as S. Domenico). The main panel represents two episodes from the New Testament: the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Saint Elizabeth, who was pregnant with Saint John the Baptist; and the baptism of Christ in the river Jordan by Saint John the Baptist. The lunette, or upper panel, shows the dead Christ sitting on his open tomb, supported by two angels.

On 9 April 1504, Giacomo di Francesco Laderchi dictated a will in which he ordained that after his death his brothers should spend 100 lire in adorning the chapel of the Visitation, which he had paid to have built in 1489. Given the prominence of John the Baptist in this altarpiece, his brother Giovanni Battista was probably most closely involved in the commission.