Master of the Richardson Triptych

St. Margaret of Antioch, Christ the Man of Sorrows, St. John the Evangelist

The painting shows three tondoes set in a panel that is likely to have been the predella, or possibly the upper section, of a portable altar intended for private devotion. The tondoes contain St. Margaret of Antioch emerging from a dragon's jaws, Christ the Man of Sorrows and St. John the Evangelist grieving. The replacement of the Virgin with St. Margaret, whose presence alongside Christ the Man of Sorrows is decidedly unorthodox, hints at a possible connection with the name of a member of the family who commissioned the altar. The three tondoes are by an anonymous Sienese painter known as the Master of the Richardson Triptych whose temperament and career have long been a focus of study, ever since the Fogg Art Museum in Harvard acquired the triptych after which he is now named. As Everett Fahy has demonstrated, the painter's career spanned some thirty years, starting under the influence of Simone Martini and ending on a note reflecting a Late Gothic sensitivity. The sober yet highly characterised style of the three tondoes allows us to date them to c. 1370.