Grifo di Tancredi

Triptych. Centre Panel: Death of St Ephraim with scenes from the lives of the monks in the Thebaid. Above; the Redeemer and six angels. Left Wing... (about 1290 - 1300)

About this artwork

The unusual combination of images in this triptych and its particular form are unique in Italian art. The central panel depicts at the bottom, the funeral of the fourth-century theologian and writer St. Ephraim, whose soul is shown at the top, transported to heaven by angels. The rocky terrain, with its wild animals and varied foliage, represents the desert around Thebes in Egypt, populated by hermits, many of whom were saints. The panel may be based on a Byzantine prototype. Christ and the angels above and the scenes from Christ's Passion in the wings are characteristic of thirteenth-century Italian painting.

  • title: Triptych. Centre Panel: Death of St Ephraim with scenes from the lives of the monks in the Thebaid. Above; the Redeemer and six angels. Left Wing: Mourning Angels; the Crucifixions; the three Marys at the Tomb. Right Wing: The Flagellations; Christ before Caiphas and Annas, and the Mocking of Christ; the Descent into Limbo
  • accession number: NGL 022.79
  • artist: Grifo di TancrediItalian (documented 1271 - 1312)
  • depicted: St Ephraim
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery(On Display)
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Death Christian saints Religious
  • date created: about 1290 - 1300
  • measurements: Panel, overall dimensions with wings open: 118.50 x 124.50 x 7.60 cm; central panel: 112.00 x 62.00; left wing: 87.40 x 30.90 cm; right wing: 87.80 x 31.00 cm; closed: 118.80 x 65.70 x 7.60 cm
  • credit line: Long loan in 1979

Grifo di Tancredi

Grifo di Tancredi

The identity of this artist has recently been proposed by linking the fragmentary and much abbreviated inscription on the base-block of the triptych with several documentary references to an artist of this name in Tuscany, the earliest in Volterra in 1271 and all of the others in Florence. A small number of works by this hand had previously been grouped together under the name of the 'Master of San Gaggio'.