The miracles of St Vincent Ferrer
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The miracles of St Vincent Ferrer

Ercole de' Roberti
(Ferrara circa 1450 - 1496)
The miracles of St Vincent Ferrer, 1473
tempera on wood
cm. 30 x 215
cat. 40286

This work by Ercole de' Roberti forms the predella of the altarpiece painted by his teacher, Francesco del Cossa, for the Griffoni Chapel in S. Petronio, Bologna in 1473. The central panel is preserved in the National Gallery of London, while the side panels are in the Pinacoteca of Brera in Milan. The predella illustrates the Miracles of St Vincent Ferrer, a Spanish saint canonized in 1458, who was commonly worshipped in Bologna. The episodes shown are: the Healing of the lame woman, the Raising of a rich Jewish woman from the dead, the Saving of a child from a house on fire, the Raising from the dead of a child killed by his pregnant mother who had lost her mind and the Healing of an injured person. Figures, architectural units and landscapes are combined in one space in which the individual episodes, narrated simultaneously, follow one another in quick succession. Ercole de' Roberti carries to the extreme the lesson learned from Cosmé Tura and Francesco del Cossa, founders of the great 15th century School of Ferrara, of which de' Roberti was one of the major exponents.