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Jacopo di Cione and workshop, Saint Peter Damian

Key facts
Full title Saint Peter Damian
Artist Jacopo di Cione and workshop
Artist dates documented 1365; died 1398 -1400
Series The Littleton Pilaster Saints
Date made about 1365-70
Medium and support Tempera on panel
Dimensions 48.2 × 11.6 × 2.4 cm
Acquisition credit On loan from the Rector and Churchwardens of St Mary Magdalene Church, Littleton
Inventory number L1082
Location Not on display
Image copyright On loan from the Rector and Churchwardens of St Mary Magdalene Church, Littleton, © St Mary Magdalene Church, Littleton
Collection Main Collection
Saint Peter Damian
Jacopo di Cione and workshop

Saint Peter Damian was born in Ravenna in around 1007.  He became a prior of the Camaldolese monastery at Fonte-Avellano. He was important to the Camaldolese as wrote the life of Saint Romuald, the founder of order.

Peter Damian was a vocal advocate of clerical reform, and acted as a Papal legate on several diplomatic missions.  He is depicted here holding a bishop’s crook and wearing the mitre in reference to his appointment as cardinal-Bishop of Ostia in 1057. Finally he returned to the monastic life, dying in 1072.

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The Littleton Pilaster Saints

These six pilaster panels were discovered wrapped in newspaper in 1995 in the church of Saint Mary Magdalene, Littleton, having been removed during the restoration of the church in the 1970s.

They have recently been cleaned by students at the Courtauld Institute. They are first recorded in the collection of the 19th-century collector, William Young Ottley.

The presence of three saints of the Camaldolese order (reformed Benedictines) suggests they may have come from the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence. They may have been part of the same altarpiece as the pinnacle panel with Noli me tangere on display in the same room. This in turn has been associated with several fragments in American collections which may have formed part of an altarpiece thought to have come from a chapel dedicated to All Saints in Santa Maria degli Angeli, founded by a notary, Ser Francesco di ser Berto degli Albizzi.

The di Cione brothers, Andrea, Jacopo and Nardo dominated Florentine painting during the second half of the 14th century. Also by Jacopo and his workshop in the National Gallery is the gigantic altarpiece from San Pier Maggiore, Florence, painted 1370-71 showing the Coronation of the Virgin, and the Crucifixion.