Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Altarpiece with Christ, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Margaret

Andrea da Giona (Italian, active ca. 1434–46)
Made in Savona, Liguria, Italy
Marble (Carrara marble)
Overall: 72 x 80 x 5 in., 1614lb. (182.9 x 203.2 x 12.7 cm, 732.1kg) a: central panel: 505lb. (229066.5g) b: Top center: 210lb. (95255.4g) c: Saint John (L): 329lb. (149233.4g) d: Saint Margaret (R): 194lb. (87997.8g) e: Kneeling Angel: 121lb. (54885.2g) f: Bottom Central Panel: 181lb. (82101.1g) g: Plinth (L): 28lb. (12700.7g) h: Modern Plinth (R): 28lb. (12700.7g) i: Angel Wing (Modern): 18lb. (8164.7g)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1962
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 20
At the center of this finely carved relief, heavenly angels with musical instruments surround the figure of Christ in Majesty. At the corners are symbols of the four Evangelists, authors of the Gospels. Saints John the Baptist and Margaret, associated with the commissioners of the altarpiece, appear at either side. Above them, in smaller scale, an earlier chapter in the Christian story is evoked by the scene of the angel Gabriel addressing the Virgin Mary with the news that she will be the mother of Jesus. At the time the Knights of Rhodes commissioned this altarpiece, they were notorious heavily armed sailors, pursuing Muslim merchant ships across the Mediterranean, often pillaging their cities and gaining great wealth in the process. The altarpiece is inscribed along the lower edge of the central panel: HOC OPUS FECIT MAGISTER AND[R]EAS DA GIONA MCCCCXXXIIII (This work was made by Master Andrea from Giona 1434).
#76. Altarpiece with Christ, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Margaret
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Signature: Signed and Dated: Andrea de Giona, 1434.

Inscription: (on lower edge of central panel): HOC OPUS FECIT MAGISTER AND- [R]EAS DA GIONA, MCCCCXXXIIII
From the church of San Giovanni Battista, Savona; Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Savona (until 1774) ; Chiodo Family, Savona (until 1932) ; [ Francesco Romano, Florence (sold 1962)]
Torteroli, Tommaso. Monumenti di pittura, scultura e architettura della città di Savona. Savona, 1847. p. 167.

Guida descrittiva di Savona e delle città e comuni principali del circondario: Coll'aggiunta di cenni biografici intorno ad uomini illustri. Florence, 1868. pp. 28-29.

Brunengo, Filippo. Sulla città di Savona: Dissertazione storica cosparsa di amenità letterarie. Savona, 1870. p. 315.

Alizeri, Federigo. Notizie dei professori di disegno in Liguria dalle origini al secolo XVI. Genoa, 1877. p. 26.

Scovazzi, Italo, and Filippo Noberasco. Storia di Savona. Vol. 3. Savona: Tipografia Italiana, 1928. p. 393.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ninety-Third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year 1962-1963." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 22, no. 2 (October 1963). p. 76.

Reuterswärd, Patrik. "The Forgotten Symbols of God (Part 2)." Konsthistorisk Tidskrift 54, no. 2 (1985). pp. 59-60, fig. 25.

Reuterswärd, Patrik. The Forgotten Symbols of God. Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis. Stockholm Studies in History of Art, Vol. 35. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1986. pp. 59-60, fig. 25.

Wixom, William D. "Medieval Sculpture at The Cloisters." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 46, no. 3 (Winter 1988-1989). p. 13.

Reuterswärd, Patrik. The Visible and Invisible in Art: Essays in the History of Art. Bibliotheca Artibus et Historiae. Vienna: IRSA, 1991. p. 106, ill. no. 118.

Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Lisbeth. "A Late Gothic Sculpture from Italy: The Savona Altarpiece in the Cloisters." In The Cloisters: Studies in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary, edited by Elizabeth C. Parker. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992. pp. 440-59, fig. 1-8, 13.

Gatti Perer, Maria Luisa. "Antefatti dell'Amadeo." In Giovanni Antonio Amadeo: Scultura e architettura del suo tempo, edited by Janice Shell, and Liana Castelfranchi Vegas. Biblioteca dell'Archivo Storico Lombardo, Serie Seconda 2. Milan: Cisalpino, 1993. pp. 84-85, n. 10.

Hoving, Thomas. False Impressions: the Hunt for Big-Time Art Fakes. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996. p. 329.

Bacchi, Andrea. Dalla Bibbia di Corradino a Jacopo della Quercia: Sculture e miniature italiane del Medioevo e del Rinascimento. Milan: Galleria Nella Longari, 1997. p. 93.

Gentilini, Giancarlo. "Virtù ed eroi di un'impresa dimenticata: Il monumento di Vitaliano e Giovanni Borromeo." In Scultura lombarda del Rinascimento: I monumenti Borromeo, edited by Mauro Natale. Studi sull'Arte in Italia. Turin: Umberto Allemandi, 1997. pp. 60, 73, fig. 145.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 85, pp. 121, 197.

Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Lisbeth, and Jack Soultanian. Italian Medieval Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010. no. 49, pp. 240–249.

Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. pp. 126-127.

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