predella

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predella

(prĕdĕl`lä), Italian term for a painted panel, usually small, belonging to a series of panels at the bottom of an altarpiece. The form was used mainly in Italy from the 13th to the 16th cent. Often added as a "footnote" to the main theme of an altarpiece, predella panels generally consist of narrative scenes, e.g., the Passion of Jesus or the lives of the saints. The artist had an opportunity to express himself with more inventiveness and vivacity in these episodes than in the main panel, where the image was conventionalized to a greater extent. Several beautiful panels from back of the Maestà by Duccio are in the National Gallery, Washington, D.C., which also has two scenes by Domenico Veneziano.

Bibliography

See study by R. Salvini and L. Traverso (tr. 1961).

predella

1. The bottom tier of an altar-piece, between the principal panel or bas-relief and the altar itself.
2. The broad platform on which the altar rests.
3. An altar ledge.
References in periodicals archive ?
19) Domenico Veneziano's predella of the stabbing to death of St Lucy captures the moment that the knife penetrates her neck but shows no blood.
At the beginning of the fifteenth century, Taddeo di Bartolo painted the saint's assassination as a continuous narrative in his predella Death of St Peter Martyr: first, the impending attack on the friar; then the knife slicing his bloodied, and now haloed, head and Peter writing 'Credo' in his own blood as it pours on the ground; and finally his slain figure with bloody head and chest wounds (see Figure 10).
20) The predella, from the Santa Lucia de'Magnoli Altarpiece, was painted around 1445 and is now in the Staatliche Museen, Berlin.
Two relatively rare, non-manuscript images of the flaying of St Bartholomew that include blood are a predella in Giovanni da Milano's Polyptych with Madonna and Saints (c.
A predella Martyrdom of St Stephen (early fifteenth-century?
28) The predella scene is from a Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints by Bicci di Lorenzo (1371-1452) in the church of Sant'Ippolito, Bibiena.
Only a few elements from the predella, pinnacles and pilasters are still unaccounted for, and perhaps even some of those will turn up one day.
DY: What is the function of the predella paintings--the smaller oils done from direct observation--surrounding some of your larger synthetic pictures?
GN: The first predella images came from a desire to look at something directly and contain a conceptual idea and a perceptual idea at the same time.
Some of the simplest, and early, references match the case of Sassetta's predella of Ranieri.
They indeed involved novel themes, and so might well involve instructions, even though they may perhaps have been the exception as in the case of Pietro Lorenzetti's predella panel.
He was also to do a lunette with a Pieta, "with the figures he thinks best" (as in Perugino's case) and fill three small predella panels with a Saint Peter Martyr and "figures or stories that seem best to him.