About this artwork

One of the Kings is pointing to the star which led them to the Christ Child in Bethlehem. The two female saints are identified by their attributes as St Catherine with the wheel, and St Ursula, accompanied by a few of the eleven thousand companions (with whom, according to her legend) she was martyred. This painting was originally the left panel of a diptych hinged in the middle; the related panel, painted with Christ mourned by saints, is now in the Fondazione Longhi, Florence.

Vitale da Bologna

Vitale da Bologna

Vitale was one of the earliest artists from Bologna to be identified in contemporary records. He painted large fresco cycles as well as altarpieces and devotional panels. His early works reflect the influence of Giotto and painters associated with Rimini. He followed the convention of equating a figure's size with its importance, but also relied on his own observations for lively gestures and facial expressions.