Artist: Giovanni di Paolo (Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia) (Italian, Siena 1398–1482 Siena)
Medium: Tempera and gold on canvas, transferred from wood
Dimensions: Overall 18 1/2 x 16 in. (47 x 40.6 cm); painted surface 17 1/2 x 15 1/8 in. (44.5 x 38.4 cm)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number: 06.1046
Together with a scene of the Creation and Expulsion from Paradise, also in the Metropolitan (Robert Lehman Collection), this picture formed the base (predella) of an altarpiece formerly in the church of San Domenico, Siena (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence). Painted in 1445, the two paintings rank among the finest works by the artist. Groups of saints and angels embrace in a rich, tapestry-like garden of Paradise. Giovanni di Paolo was much inspired by paintings he saw in Florence by Fra Angelico, but he rejected the perspectival rationalism of Florentine art in favor of a visionary effect of exquisite intensity. For a reconstruction of the altarpiece, see metmuseum.org/collections.