Cristoforo Cortese (Italian, active ca. 1390died before 1445)
Tempera and gold leaf on parchment; 11 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. (29 x 21.1 cm)
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.2468)
This leaf was originally one of the opening pages of a mariegola, or register, painted by Cristoforo Cortese for one of the German confraternities in Venice. The members of this confraternity, or scuola, are shown kneeling at the feet of two standing saints holding the confraternity banner between them. On the left is Mark, patron saint of Venice. On the right is Sinibaldus, patron saint of Nuremberg, who is depicted with his traditional attributes of the pilgrim staff and model of the church that was dedicated to him in Nuremberg. By 1400, with the expansion of German businesses in Venice, there were several confraternities composed of German merchants, which became powerful art patrons. This register may have been painted for a confraternity with its headquarters in the Church of San Bartolomeo in Venice, which was known as the official German church in the city and had an altar dedicated to Saint Sinibaldus.