Triumph of Saint Augustine

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Attributed to Serafino de Serafini Modena, documented from 1349 to 1354; Ferrara, active from 1361 to 1393. Fresco wall painting finished with tempera and lime, removed and transferred onto canvas, 764 x 556cm. inv. 27

This mural painting, transferred onto canvas in 1906, originally decorated the chapel founded in 1378 by Buonsostegno and Giorgio Marinetti in the Chiesa di Sant’Andrea in Ferrara (now destroyed). The allegorical composition divided into three levels corresponds to an iconographic canon widespread in Augustinian circles. At the top, Augustine sits at his desk above the other Doctors of the Church and pagan philosophers. On the level below the seven Heavenly and Cardinal Virtues trample the seven Deadly Sins. The bottom-most level shows the seven Liberal Arts (Music and Astronomy only remaining). The fresco is predominantly attributed to Serafino de Serafini due to its similarities with the Polyptych signed by the artist in the Duomo in Modena, particularly the soft rendering of faces and penchant for depicting loosely-fitted draperies. The sophisticated colour palette used in the painting also indicates the influence of Vitale da Bologna and Tommaso da Modena. 

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