Relocating Fra Bartolomeo at San Marco

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2 Scopus citations


In 1974 Janet Cox-Rearick identified a panel at San Francesco in Fiesole as a relatively faithful copy of Fra Bartolomeo's lost St Sebastian with an Angel, a painting that, according to Vasari, was so beautiful it stimulated sinful thoughts in the women who looked upon it. Cox-Rearick further proposed that the lost painting was a pendant to the same artist's monumental St Mark the Evangelist and that the two works originally decorated altars located to either side of the entrance into the choir of the Dominican Observant church of San Marco in Florence. The present study shows that when the paintings were made in the early sixteenth century the tomb, and later the first relic chapel, of St Antoninus (d. 1459) rather than one of Fra Bartolomeo's saints was situated on the left side of San Marco's choir screen. A reconsideration of the primary sources related to the paintings' early history and location reveals instead that they were installed within the choir, where they took their place in a long-standing Dominican tradition of depicting exemplary saints over or near the portals of the Order's churches and convents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-334
Number of pages24
JournalRenaissance Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Florence
  • Fra Bartolomeo
  • San Marco
  • St Mark
  • St Sebastian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Religious studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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