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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The Baronci Altarpiece was a painting done by an Italian called Raphael Sanzio and an Evangelistic partner who used to work in the shop of Raphael's father

However, it is said that the entire design of the painting was from Raphael, while da Pian Meleto participated in the execution process.

This oil masterpiece encrypted on wood was painted between the years 1500-1501. This project was for portraying St Nicholas of Tolentino, an old saint in the Roman Catholic Bible.

In the painting, St Nicholas stands in the doorway with angels on his side and Satan at his feet. The painters were commissioned to make this painting for a chapel known as Andrea Baronci of Saint Agostino church which is in Citta di Castello. The dimensions of this painting were 31 centimetres by 27 cm.

The painting was well kept in the chapel until an earthquake struck the area and destroyed the chapel massively. During the quake, The Baronci Altarpiece was broken down into fragments which were preserved in different collections.

The pieces were; God, the father which was found in Naples and its dimensions were 112 by 75 centimeters, Blessed Mary which was also found in the same place and its dimensions were 51 by 41 centimeters, The Angel whose dimensions were 57 by 36 centimeters and was found in Paris and another Angel that was found in Brescia and the dimensions were 31 by 27 centimeters.

Later the Pope summoned the fragments to the Vatican for preservation. After an extended period, scholars successfully brought together the pieces of the painting, had them sawn together incorporating some Predellas elements to replace fragments that were lost entirely and preserved it in Louvre Paris.

The scholars' Predellas were Saint Nicholas in the process resurrecting two Partridges whose development was done by Detroit Institute of Art, and its dimensions were 9.2 by 54 centimetres and Saint Nicholas saving a boy from drowning whose size was 26.7 by 51.8 centimetres by the same institution.

The original sketches of the painting by Raphael can be located in Ashmolean Museum Oxford and Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille in Lille. Currently, the renovated painting which looks almost like the original piece is in Pinacoteca Civica which is in Brescia.

The painting continues to be one of the glorious work of arts that reflect this heroic saint who is famously known for his works of mercy in the Catholic Church.