Miracle of Saint Dominic (Saint Dominic Restoring Napoleone Orsini to Life)

Maker and role
Artist: Taddeo di Bartolo, Italian, ca. 1362 - ca.1422
ca. 1403
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Object detail

Tempera and gold on panel
15 3/4 x 15 1/4in (40 x 38.7cm)
Credit line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Frederic G. Oppenheimer
Accession number
Object type
Further information
Part of a puzzle researched by independent scholar Gail Solberg, this fascinating panel painted by Sienese artist Taddeo di Bartolo illustrates an incident recorded in the Golden Legend:

A young man, the nephew of Stephen the cardinal of [Fossa Nuova monastery], fell with his horse into a ditch and was killed. Being lifted out, he was laid at the feet of Saint Dominic, who prayed over him and restored him to life.

On the McNay's panel, scenes of the young man's death and revival appear in a continuous narrative.

Miracle of Saint Dominic was very likely part of a predella, the lower register of a large altarpiece. Solberg links the McNay's panel to similar predella panels, which traditionally show subjects related to larger figures of saints in the middle and upper registers.

The predominance of Dominican saints indicates the altarpiece was housed in a church of the Order of Preachers founded in the 1200s by St. Dominic. Over time, as churches refurbished their interiors, art dealers obtained discarded altarpieces and dismantled them for resale. Scattered to collections throughout the world, the altarpiece exists today as independent panels in separate collections.
Katalog der Gemälde alter italienischer Meister in der Sammlung des Conservator J.A. Ramboux; 1862; p. 11; no. 58
Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of Italian Primitives; Osvald Sirén (b.1879, d.1966), Maurice Brockwell (b.1869, d.1958); 1917; p. 130-131; no. 49
The Philip J. Mosenthal Collection; 1925; p. 58-59; no. 105
Wallraf-Richartz-Jahrbuch; vol. 18 (1956), p. 127
Taddeo di Bartolo; Sibilla Symeonides; 1965; p. 46, 203; planche 4B
Italian Paintings of the Renaissance: Central and North Italian Schools, Vol. I; Bernard Berenson (b.1865, d.1959); 1968; p. 421
Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections; Burton Fredericksen (b.1934), Federico Zeri (b.1921, d.1998); 1972; p. 194, 391, 677
Apollo; Vol. CIX (1979), p. 154, 156; no. 21
Taddeo di Bartolo: His Life and Work; Gail Solberg; 1991; p. 188, 775-79, 1462; fig. 188
Modern Art at the McNay: A Brief History and Pictorial Survey of the Collection; William J. Chiego; 2001; p. 12
Sacred Treasures: Early Italian Paintings from Southern Collections; Perri Roberts; 2002; pp vii, 114-117, illus title page
Italian Paintings, 1250-1450 in the John G. Johnson Collection and the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Carl Strehlke; 2002; p. 410; fig. 79.2
From the Private Collections of Texas: European Art, Ancient to Modern; Richard Brettell (b.1949); 2009; p. 36-3; fig. 34
Corpus of Early Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections; Perri Roberts; 2009; p. 686-687
Sanctity Pictured: The Art of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Renaissance Italy; Trinita Kennedy; 2014; p. 164-165; no. 33b
Subject period
Docent information sheet
V:\Object Documentation\Paintings\1955.11 Bartolo\Gemalde Italienischer Meister Ramboux 1862.pdf
V:\Object Documentation\Paintings\1955.11 Bartolo\Collections of Texas 2009.pdf


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