Artibus et Historiae no. 80 (XL)

2019, ISSN 0391-9064

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CARLO CORSATO - Giovanni Bellini’s Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Thomas Aquinas Altarpiece: Primary Sources, Perspective and Visual Philology (pp. 35–55)

The altarpiece of Saints Catherine of Siena and Thomas Aquinas, formerly placed above the first altar on the right in the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, but destroyed by fire in 1867, is perhaps one of Giovanni Bellini’s most famous works – yet it is also one about which we possess the least material information. Through the analysis of primary sources and the surviving documentation this paper reconstructs the original material characteristics of the panel, including its technique and original size. The paper also discusses the restoration of the stone frame, still in situ and convincingly attributed to Pietro Lombardo and his workshop, and takes into account unpublished photographs of the 1994–1995 treatment supported by Save Venice. On the basis of this information a digital recreation of the original altarpiece is provided, and the opportunity is taken to correct the errors in the previous reconstructions published by Giles Robertson, Rona Goffen, and Denise Zaru.

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