Venetian School, Portable Altar with the Madonna and Saints

End of the 14th century
Accademia Gallery, Venice

On the left St. James the Greater holds his pilgrim's staff and a small scroll, the latter perhaps referring to his epistle. On the right is St. Francis of Assisi: tonsure, Franciscan habit with thrice-knotted cord, stigmata showing on his right hand and through the rip in his habit. Both are labeled with their names in Latin.

The artist has the Child sleeping in the soft innocence of a baby yet gives him the face and muscled torso of a young man. As a young man would if thus exposed, he covers his crotch with his hands. A red stain, as if of blood, flows down the center of his breast.

Above the Madonna is an early example of the "Man of Sorrows" image, Mary and John holding up the lifeless body of Jesus for the contemplation of the viewer.

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More of St. James
More of St. Francis of Assisi
More of the Virgin and Child
More of the Man of Sorrows

Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.