UMBRIAN MASTER (MASTER OF THE MATRICOLA DEGLI SPADAI DI PERUGIA?)
Martrydom of Saint Laurence (c. 475 x 345 mm.)
Italy, Perugia, c. 1360
This illuminated manuscript leaf comes from a Gradual and illustrates the Introit for the Mass for Saint Lawrence with the scene of the saint's martyrdom. The saint lies on a fiery grill subjected to beating by two men holding clubs. The style of the illumination reveals an apparent awareness of the major Tuscan painters of the first half of the 14th c., such as Simone Martini, the Lorenzetti and Allegretto Nuzi. The apparent enrichment in this particular section of the Gradual, and the special attention given to Saint Lawrence, clearly suggests that this specific saint was greatly venerated at the church where this now dismembered Gradual originally was in use. This suggests that the Gradual originally belonged to the cathedral in Perugia, which stood under the protection of Saint Lawrence.