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Scenes from the Life of St Agnes


Flemish artist (Antwerp?) active in the late 15th century
Episodes in the Life of St Catherine of Alexandria
Episodes in the Life of St Agnes (image)

oil on board,c. 1480
The King’s Bath Chamber

These two panels are among the oldest in the collection of the Genoese museum with respect not only to their date, which most of the recent studies now place around 1480, but also and above all to their entrance into the palace on Via Balbi. The works are in fact mentioned in the estimates attached to the will of Giovanni Battista Balbi and therefore entered the palace of his father Stefano, who built it between 1643 and 1650, probably a few years later. They are thus to be regarded as rare evidence of the collection of the building’s earliest owners. Each panel was originally the upper half of a wing of a hinged triptych, and for this reason painted on both sides. The two wings closed over a large central panel identifiable as the Adoration of the Magi, which was also part of the Genoese collection before being moved to the Galleria Sabauda in Turin, where it still hangs, in 1837. The two panels constituting the lower halves, where the narrative ended with the saints’ martyrdom, had already been sold by the Durazzo family at the end of the 18th century and now hang in the Musée des Beaux arts in Strasbourg.

  • Artista fiammingo (anversano?)
  • olio su tavola, 1480 circa
  • olio su tavola
  • Bagno del Re