Skip to main content
Portrait of Savonarola
Italian, Florentine
/

The identity of the tonsured friar portrayed here is made clear by the scene painted on the reverse of the panel, which records the execution of Girolamo Savonarola and his two companions. This took place in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence on 23 May 1498.

Savonarola (1452–1498) was a Dominican preacher and leader in the populist revolution in Florence during the 1490s. He preached against the tyrannical abuses of the Medici rulers of the city and had numerous followers. His crusade against impiety and luxury gained him great political power in Florence, especially during the republic established after the death of Lorenzo de' Medici and the exile of Lorenzo’s son Piero in 1494.

On the reverse of this panel, the three Dominican friars hang by their necks as a huge fire rages beneath them. This work seems to have been painted about 1500–40, perhaps based on an earlier print. The back and the front of the panel were probably painted by the same artist.

Key facts
Artist Italian, Florentine
Full title Portrait of Savonarola
Date made perhaps about 1500-40
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 21.2 x 16.5 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Dr William Radford, 1890
Inventory number NG1301
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings 1250-1600
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

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.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo