Visiting the sick

Visiting the sick

Purchased from the École Nationale et Speciale des Beaux Arts in 1890 for 1890-88 to 90 for £162 7s 7d (1575 francs)

Original:

Visiting the sick
Ascribed to Santi Buglioni (di Michele Viviano) (1494-1576) and Filippo di Lorenzo Paladini
16th century
Marble
On the loggia of the Ospedale del Ceppo, Pistoia, Italy

These casts (museum nos. 1890-88 to 90) represent three scenes from a frieze illustrating seven deeds of Mercy:- Feeding the hungry, after original of glazed terracotta; Visiting the sick, after original of glazed terracotta; Giving drink to the thirsty, after original of painted stucco. When the casts were purchased, the original frieze was thought to be the work of Giovanni della Robbia (1469-1529/30). In 1902, Marquand attributed the main part of the frieze to the Florentine Santi Buglioni on stylistic grounds, citing payments to this sculptor between 1526 and 1528 'probably' for the frieze. He identified the beardless central figure in the first two scenes as Leonardo di Giovanni Buonafede (d. 1545), who commissioned the loggia on which the frieze sits in 1512, and became governor of the hospital in 1522. The frieze is dated 1585, some nine years after Santi Buglioni's death. Between 1584 and 1586, payments are recorded to a local painter, Filippo di Lorenzo Paladini, for finishing the frieze 'in the time of Bartolommeo Montechiari'. The scene Giving Drink to the Thirsty, which differs technically and stylistically from the rest of the frieze, may be the work of Filippo di Lorenzo Paladini, and the bearded central protagonist may represent the governor Bartolommeo Montechiari.