This roundel, originally a portion of a larger polyptych (altarpieces with multiple panels), is in a very fine state of preservation. When first completed, the tondo might have been part of the frame of the larger altarpiece, in which it would presumably have graced the gable of the central panel. Art historian Roberto Longhi identified the work’s “simplicity and amplitude of shape” as telling signs of Allegretto Nuzi’s training in Florence in the 1330s, under the strong influence of Giotto. Despite the small scale of this painting, the half-figure of the haloed Christ in the act of blessing possesses monumental dignity. Nuzi’s panel depicting Saint Anthony Abbot, a wing of a major altarpiece for his home town of Fabriano, is today in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., and, like this work, a gift from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
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