Museums and Art

“Scenes from the Life of St. Nicholas”, Fra Beato Angelico

“Scenes from the Life of St. Nicholas”, Fra Beato Angelico

Scenes from the life of St. Nicholas - Fra Beato Angelico (Fra Giovanni Da Fiesole). 35x61.5

Beato Angelico, whose painting is imbued with a bright, prayerful mood, wrote this altar triptych for the chapel of San Niccolo of the Church of San Domenico in Perugia. Two picturesque plaques that made up the predella of the altar, dedicated to stories from the life of St. Nicholas and the Wonderworker, are kept in the Vatican Pinakothek.

The artist, which was typical of him, even built a clear architectural space in a small composition, dividing the image into three parts. The first (left) presents Saint's birth scene, in the second (center) - his sermons and in the third (right) - the story of how Nikolai gave the dowry to three poor girls.

Beato Angelico is a wonderful storyteller. In the room, against the far wall - the artist, even in a small-sized piece, knows how to emphasize the depth of the interior - there is a bed on which the woman in labor lies. Here, closer to the entrance, the maid washes the newborn. The middle part of the composition depicts young Nikolai listening to a church sermon. The action takes place on a green flower-strewn lawn in front of the church, from the pulpit of which the priest pronounces the words.

On the left is a scene with the miracle of St. Nicholas: God announced to him that a certain impoverished man was going to make his three daughters harlots in order to earn money, and secretly tossed a bag of gold to them on holy night. Here again is shown the room of the house, through the open door of which are visible three innocent girls sleeping on the bed and their unhappy father sitting in a chair dozing off. Nicholas, according to legend, is depicted throwing a bag through the window, and the door is open only so that the prayers can see the story.

The medieval tradition of detailed, colorful painting is adjacent to Beato Angelico with the transmission of spatial perspective and volumetric figures of characters. In addition, working a lot on wall paintings, the artist transferred the majesty of the image to his easel work.


Watch the video: Who Was St. Nicholas of Tolentino? (June 2021).