From Duccio’s Maestà to Raphael’s Transfiguration


Italian Altarpieces in Their Settings

24 x 17 cm
380 pp. 215 illus.
Publication: 2005
ISBN 1 899828 93 1
ISBN-13 978 1 899828 93 7

Book Description

Christa Gardner von Teuffel’s studies of Italian altarpieces have provided fundamental insights concerning the original structure and setting of some of the canonical monuments of Italian late medieval and Renaissance painting. Studies of panel type and frame architecture are combined with an investigation of original sites. Archival discoveries at Florence and Palermo have led to a new assessment of institutional patronage and private benefaction, and illuminated the formulation of altarpiece programmes, such as Perugino’s Vallombrosan Assumption and Raphael’s Lo Spasimo. These essays contribute enduringly to our understanding of contractual obligation, design process and altarpiece installation, and demonstrate the nexus between ecclesiastical and lay patrons, artists and congregations.

The author’s pioneering examination of Carmelite patronage and subsequent investigation of the iconographical impact of Benedictine and Franciscan reform movements have prompted others to re-assess the patronage of religious Orders in the Quattrocento. The pervasive iconographical influence of the Holy Land is traced through Sansepolcro, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme at Rome and as far as the astonishing View of Sinai by El Greco.


  • Introduction
  • Masaccio and the Pisa Altarpiece: a new approach
  • Ikonographie und Archäologie: das Pfingsttriptychon in der Floretiner Akademie an seinem ursprünglichen Aufstellungsort
  • The buttressed altarpiece: a forgotten aspect of Tuscan fourteenth century altarpiece design
  • Lorenzo Monaco, Filippo Lippi und Filippo Brunelleschi: die Erfindung der Renaissancepala
  • From polyptych to pala: some structural considerations
  • Sebastiano del Piombo, Raphael and Narbonne
  • An early description of Sebastiano’s Raising of Lazarus at Narbonne
  • Raffaels römische Altarbilder: Aufstellung und Bestimmung
  • La collocazione originale e la struttura del polittico, Piero della Francesca, II polittico di Sant‘Antonio
  • The contract for Perugino’s Assumption of the Virgin at Vallombrosa
  • Fra Angelico’s bishop saints from the high altar of S.Domenico, Fiesole
  • Clerics and painters: Fra Angelico, Ghirlandaio and others: legal procedures and the Renaissance high-altar-piece in central Italy
  • Niccolo di Segna, Sassetta, Piero della Francesca and Perugino: Cult and continuity at Sansepolcro
  • New light on the Cross: Antoniazzo Romano and Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza in Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
  • El Greco’s View of Mount Sinai as an independent landscape
  • Raphael’s portrait of Valerio Belli: some new evidence
  • Additional Notes
  • Index

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