Scene from the Legend of St. Nicholas
Scene from the Legend of St. Nicholas

Scene from the Legend of St. Nicholas

Bicci di Lorenzo (Italian, 1373-1452)

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In this scene from the legend of St. Nicholas, the saint secretly throws gold through the window of an impoverished nobleman's house to provide dowries for his three daughters (saving them from prostitution). Because the saint did not want his identity known, his act of charity was performed under cover of darkness while the man and his daughters slept.

This painting was once part of a predella, the lowermost section of an altarpiece, which included other episodes from the life of St. Nicholas.

Eugen Rieffel-Müller, Frankfurt am Main, by 1925.{1} (E. & A. Silberman, New York); purchased by Dr. George Henry Alexander Clowes [1877-1958] in 1933;{2} The Clowes Fund Collection, since 1958 and on long-term loan to the Indianapolis Museum of Art since 1971 (C10057); Given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2010.

{1} See Austellung von Meisterwerken alter Malerie aus Privatbesitz sommer 1925, Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 1926, cat. no. 67, in which the captions to the illustrations on plate V (cat nos. 67 and 121) are reversed. When William E. Suida published and illustrated the painting in an article "Some Bolognese Trecento Paintings in America," Critica d'arte, 1951, pp. 52-58, the caption was again printed erroneously as "57. Jacopo de Bologne, New York, Kress Collection" (rather than "57. Simone, Clowes Collection, Indianapolis). See Suida's letter to Dr. Clowes dated 28 October 1951 (IMA Clowes Collection Archive).
{2} Appears on a list of paintings bought from Silberman by Dr. Clowes dated February 22, 1934 (IMA, Clowes Collection Archive).

Object Information

Bicci di Lorenzo (Italian, 1373-1452)
creation date
about 1400-10
tempera and gold on wood
7 x 13-1/2 in. (panel)
12-3/4 x 18-3/4 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
The Clowes Collection
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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