Madonna and Child with Saints Michael and Francis
Mariotto di Nardo
Tempera on wood
The triptych depicts the Madonna and Child enthroned between two angels and the blessing Redeemer, between Saints Michael the Archangel and Francis and in the predella, Saint Jerome, Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint John the Baptist, the Flagellation of Christ, Saint John the Evangelist , San Ludovico da Tolosa and Santa Chiara. An attempt was made to identify the Franciscan saint of the predella with the Blessed Sante da Mombaroccio, but the traditional identification with Sant´Antonio da Padova seems preferable, as indicated by the burning flame and the inscription on the open book. The painting was kept from ancient times in San Giovanni Battista degli Zoccolanti in Pesaro. The presence of San Francesco and three Franciscan saints in the predella, however, indicates that its original location must have been a church of the minor friars. The work is a manifesto of the contemporary Florentine artistic situation and the neo-Giotto trend shines through in the archaic rigor. On the other hand, numerous elements show that Mariotto has not forgotten late Gothic experimentalism and in the monumental figures, wrapped in large draperies, the contour line struggles in increasingly convoluted serpentines, as in the mantle of the Madonna or in that of San Michele.