The Healing of the Man born Blind

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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This painting is from the back of the predella (the bottom tier) of Duccio’s Maestà – a double-sided, five-tiered altarpiece made for the high altar of Siena Cathedral.

It shows Jesus healing a blind man, an episode told in John’s Gospel. Jesus is shown wiping a mixture – made from mud and his own spit – over the man’s eyes. The man carries a stick to guide his steps; when he, shown again at the far right of the picture, washes his face in the nearby pool, he drops his stick and looks up, cured.

Duccio had help from a team of painters to complete the work. He drew the figures and sketched in the architecture but one of his assistants finished off the architecture using a ruler to incise straight lines, which can still be seen if you look closely.

The National Gallery, London



The Healing of the Man born Blind




Egg tempera on poplar


H 43.5 x W 45 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1883

Work type



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Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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