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This panel comes from the predella of a large altarpiece of 1433–1435 for S. Niccolò in Cafaggio, Florence, whose parts are now scattered in various collections. The 'Virgin and Child with Four Angels' in the centre was flanked by pairs of saints ('Sts Benedict and Nicholas of Bari' and 'St John the Baptist and an Evangelist', probably St Matthew). The predella showed scenes from the life of St Nicholas, of which five are known: the birth of the saint; pilgrims at the shrine of the saint; St Nicholas resuscitating three youths; the saint providing dowries for three sisters (three gold balls, his traditional attribute); and banishing the storm. The panels probably originally had quatrefoil frames. Bicci based the design of this painting on Gentile da Fabriano's Quaratesi altarpiece of 1425 for S.
St Nicholas of Bari banishing the Storm
tempera & gilding on panel
H 29 x W 59 cm
Fox-Strangways Gift, 1850