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The Ansidei Altarpiece, San Fiorenzo, Perugia

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Raphael painted this altarpiece for the Ansidei family chapel dedicated to Saint Nicholas in the Servite Church of S. Fiorenzo in Perugia. The date MDV (1505) is inscribed in gold on the hem of the Virgin’s mantle.

The altarpiece would have consisted of the main panel, featuring the enthroned Virgin and Christ Child flanked by Saint Nicholas on the right and Saint John the Baptist on the left, and a lower horizontal set of painted panels collectively known as a predella. One of the two narrative scenes from the predella, Saint John the Baptist preaching, is also in the National Gallery’s collection. The other predella scene, which probably depicted a posthumous miracle of Saint Nicholas, is missing. Each narrative scene would have been positioned beneath the saint in the main panel to whom it related.

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