Giovanni da Rimini Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints Anna Koopstra

Publication date:
06 Jun 2017
National Gallery London
64 pages: 267 x 210mm
35 color + 2 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

This monograph celebrates the National Gallery’s 2015 acquisition of Giovanni da Rimini’s Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints (c. 1300­–1305). The painting is a rare survival from the late Middle Ages, uniting the exquisite detail of late Byzantine icons with the new, more naturalistic and expressive style exemplified by the Florentine painter Giotto. Probably created for private contemplation and worship, the painting may be the left wing of a diptych, a theory that is examined here in relation to its assumed companion panel Scenes from the Life of Christ (from the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini, Rome). Significant new research explains its iconography, its devotional function, and the historical context in which it was created, while fresh technical analysis brings a greater understanding of the making and purpose of the panels and how they were originally displayed. 

Anna Koopstra is the Simon Sainsbury Curatorial Assistant of Paintings before 1500 at the National Gallery, London. She is also the Associate Caroline Villers Research Fellow for 2016–17 at the Courtauld Institute of Art.