FRA ANGELICO’S VIRGIN MARY WITH THE APOSTLES AND OTHER SAINTS

November 11th 2022

Probably by Fra Angelic,  “The Virgin Mary with the Apostles and Other Saints” about 1423-4, Egg tempera on wood, 32 x 64 cm
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/NG663.2. from the San Domenico Altarpiece Predella, Fiesole.

“The Virgin Mary with the Apostles and Other Saints”,  Predella of the  “San Domenico Altarpiece”  Fiesole, 1423-4, Fra Angelico. Now at the National Gallery, London.

The Virgin Mary kneels on the left before Christ in glory who is shown in the central panel of the predella which is to the right.  Beside her, St Peter and St Paul are easy to recognise.  With them are the four evangelists, each of whom hold their gospel books.  St Dominic and St Francis are shown to the right among a group of Popes and Bishops, which includes St Nicholas of Bari, St Martin of Tours,  St Hilary of Poitiers, Pope St Gregory the Great and Pope St Sylvester.  At the centre of the middle row, St Jerome with his cardinal’s a row which includes his fellow hermit and penitent St Anthony of Egypt, who talks to two monks, one of whom is probably St Benedict.  St Thomas Aquinas is shown in this group too with his star and his book.  Although many of the saints hold books and some hold quills, only four hold their books open: St Dominic, St Thomas Aquinas, St Jerome another unidentified saint on the far right.  While the text written in the books held open by the first three are legible, that of the fourth on the right is simply a series of scribbles. But this must be deliberate. This saint is one of closest to Christ in glory and so perhaps this is to say that the great mystery which he beholds in full transcends the human intellect.  

FRA ANGELICO’S VIRGIN MARY WITH THE APOSTLES AND OTHER SAINTS

Edinburgh Catholic Chaplaincy

The Catholic Chaplaincy serves the students and staff of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University.

The Catholic Chaplaincy is also a parish of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh (the Parish of St Albert the Great) and all Catholic students and staff are automatically members of this parish.

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