MEO DA SIENA (ACTIVE 1319-1333/34)
Altar retable painted on both sides, with Madonna and Child Enthroned with Twelve Saints and Christ Enthroned with the Twelve Apostles
Mixed technique on poplar with canvas backing
Inv. No. 1201, 1202
60.5 × 305.5 cm
This panel painting, which was not split into two halves until the eighteenth century, stood on the high altar of the Benedictine Abbey of San Pietro in the Umbrian city of Perugia from the 1330s onward as an altar retable painted on both sides. The donor, Ugolino – the abbot of the monastery – is depicted as a small figure at the feet of the enthroned Madonna. While Christ is accompanied by the twelve Apostles, the Virgin is flanked by the saints of whom the abbey had relics. Meo da Siena had been active in Perugia since 1319 at the latest and was very successful there as an exponent of Sienese art, especially Duccio’s innovations.