Example 4: Polyptych

Work Record
Class [controlled]: • paintings  • European art
*Work Type [link]: • polyptych  • altarpiece
*Title: Polyptych with Saint James Major, the Madonna and Child, and Saints  Title Type: repository
*Creator Display: Bartolomeo Vivarini (Italian, ca. 1432-1499)
*Role [link]: painter  [link]: Vivarini, Bartolomeo
*Creation Date: 1490  [controlled]:Earliest: 1490 • Latest: 1490
*Subject [links]:  • religion and mythology  • Madonna and Child (Christian iconography)  • Saint James Major (Christian iconography)  • Jesus (Christian iconography)  • Saint Mary Magdalene (Christian iconography)  • Virgin Mary (Christian iconography)  • Saint Bartholomew (Christian iconography)  • Saint Peter (Christian iconography)  • Saint Catherine (Christian iconography)  • Saint John the Baptist (Christian iconography)  • Saint John the Evangelist (Christian iconography)  • Saint Apollonia (Christian iconography)  • Saint Ursula (Christian iconography)  • martyrs  • saints  • pilgrimage
Culture [link]: Italian
*Current Location [link]: J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, California, USA)  • ID: 71.PB.30
*Measurements: comprises 10 panels; overall: 280 x 215 cm (110 1/4 x 84 5/8 inches)
[controlled]: Extent: components  Value: 10 Type: count  |  • Value: 280 Unit: cm Type: height  |  • Value: 215 Unit: cm Type: width
*Materials and Techniques:  tempera and gold leaf on panel
Material [links]:  • tempera  • panel (wood)  • gold leaf  Technique [links]: • painting
Description: The themes of martyrdom and pilgrimage are strongly represented in this polyptych. The central saint, Saint John Major, holds a pilgrim’s staff and shell, references to a famous pilgrimage site dedicated to him, Santiago de Compostela; pilgrimage sites were also dedicated to several other of the saints depicted. All of the saints depicted were martyrs, with the exception of John the Evangelist, Mary Magdalene, and the Virgin Mary. However, two of those three may be linked to martyrdom: John the Evangelist was thought to have survived an attempted martyrdom; the female saint with a jar has been identified as Mary Magdalene, but she carries a martyr’s palm, so perhaps that identification is mistaken.
Description Source [link]: J. Paul Getty Museum online. www.getty.edu Page: accessed 15 October 2006

Required and recommended elements are marked with an asterisk.

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