Santi Girolamo e Giovanni Battista

Tommaso di ser Giovanni Cassai

The National Gallery

This picture and 'Pope Gregory the Great (?) and Matthias' are two sides of a single panel that was divided in two. The panel had been one part of a double-sided triptych in Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. The other side panel of the triptych, also sawn in half, showed Saints Peter and Paul on one side and Saint John the Evangelist (?) and Saint Martin on the other. One central panel was of the Assumption of the Virgin while the other showed the Miracle of the Snow, and the founding of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Saint John's cross is unusual in that it is attached to a column. This may be a reference to the Colonna arms ('colonna' meaning column in Italian). Pope Martin V, who died in 1431, was a member of the Colonna family and he may have been involved in the commission of this work.

Masolino probably completed the altarpiece after Masaccio's death in Rome in 1428.


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