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This picture was once part of a multi-panelled altarpiece with four tiers, made for the Florentine church of Santa Croce. It would have appeared in the third tier, above an image of the apostle Paul (now in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin) and beneath an image of David.
Saint Bartholomew’s tunic is painted with an elaborate pattern, and brown leaf-like shapes are probably mordant (the sticky substance used to attach gold leaf to a panel). This means that these areas were originally gilded. The edges of both draperies were also most likely gilded.
Tempera on poplar
H 62 x W 70 cm
Presented by the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres through The Art Fund, 1919