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Ceiling Elements from a Venetian Scuola


These two panels are said to have come from a ceiling in the Scuola di S. Francesco ai Frari at Venice. The ceiling originally featured the Four Evangelists on square panels at the corners, with Saints Bonaventure, Louis, Bernardino and Anthony of Padua in separate octagonal compartments around a central full length image of Saint Francis receiving the stigmata. The central panel of Saint Francis is lost but the Four Evangelists, Saint Bernardino and Saint Anthony are now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.

The National Gallery’s panels show Saint Louis of Toulouse in his bishop’s robes holding a Bible, and Saint Bonaventure pointing upwards. They are characteristic works of Pordenone’s late style and closely comparable with his Beato Lorenzo Giustiniani altarpiece (Accademia, Venice) commissioned in 1532, so were probably made at a similar time.