Niccolò di Segna
Nationality & Life Dates:
Italian, active 1331 – 1345
Tempera on panel
27 1/8 x 19 inches
Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
On View - Stent Family Wing, Second Level, Gallery 201
St. Vitalis is representative of Niccolò’s mature style and is believed to have been a panel from a sumptuous polyptych that included St. Catherine of Alexandria as well. It is also the earliest surviving depiction of St. Vitalis, who was rarely represented in Tuscan art. He is shown dressed as a Roman soldier and holding the instrument of his martyrdom or torture. As with any Trecento “portrait,” this one is intended to be symbolic of a saint and is not meant to look real.