(Florence, circa 1290 - circa 1348)
Martyrdom of St Stephen and finding of his remains
tempera on wood
cm. 26.5 x 30 each panel
Cat. 40148, 40147, 40158, 40149, 40150, 40160, 40159, 40161
The eight panels formed the predella of a still unidentified polyptych. They were attributed to the Florentine painter Bernardo Daddi and it is thought that they were painted around 1345, as part of the later activity of the artist. The small paintings illustrate the martyrdom of St Stephen and the story of the finding of his remains according to the medieval tale of the Legenda Aurea by Jacopo da Varagine. They begin with the Stoning of the Saint, followed by: The apparition in a dream of St Gamaliele, St Paul's master, to St Lucian, revealing where his body is buried together with those of Abibus, his son, Nicodemus and St Stephen; St Lucian tells John of his vision, and John, Patriarch of Jerusalem, has the bodies sought for; the Finding of the bodies of Sts Lucian, Abibus, Nicodemus and Stephen in the place indicated by Gamaliele; the Transfer of the bodies of the Saints to Jerusalem, where that of St Stephen miraculously healed Eudossias, daughter of the emperor Theodosius, possessed by an evil spirit; the Second transfer to Rome; the Reunion of the body of St Stephen with that of St Laurence in Rome and, lastly, the Needy who implore miracles on the tomb of St Laurence and St Stephen.