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Adoring Saints: Left Main Tier Panel
Jacopo di Cione and workshop
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The saints arranged here neatly in rows are looking towards the central panel of the complex, four-tiered altarpiece that this picture comes from, which shows Christ crowning the Virgin Mary. This scene is mirrored on a panel on the other side of the central image. Together, these three panels together formed the main level of the altarpiece.

Wealthy wool traders, the Albizzi family, commissioned the altarpiece for the Florentine church of San Pier Maggiore. Included here are saints that were significant to the family: Saint Stephen in the front row, for example, was the patron saint of the guild that controlled the Florentine wool trade. He has a stone on his head which refers to his death by stoning.

Key facts
Artist Jacopo di Cione and workshop
Artist dates documented 1365; died 1398 -1400
Full title Adoring Saints: Left Main Tier Panel
Group The San Pier Maggiore Altarpiece
Date made 1370-1
Medium and support Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions 169 x 113 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1857
Inventory number NG569.2
Location in Gallery Room 60
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The San Pier Maggiore Altarpiece

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These images come from a large, four-tiered altarpiece created for the high altar of the choir of the church of San Pier Maggiore in Florence. It was made up of a number of separate panels, most of which are now in the National Gallery’s collection.

Although only the facade of the church remains today, it was one of the oldest and most important religious institutions in Florence when this altarpiece was made. It was founded by the first bishop of Florence, Saint Zenobius, in the fifth century. The picture formed the backdrop to one of the ceremonies relating to the ordination of each bishop of Florence until the late sixteenth century.

The altarpiece was most probably commissioned by the wealthy Florentine Albizzi family and many of its saints relate to their family or their trade as wool merchants. The central images showed the coronation of the Virgin by Christ surrounded by adoring saints – a highly popular image in Florence.

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