A Seated Saint Reading from a Book
The outlines of the figure of this majestic seated saint have been finely pricked with holes, which would have been dusted with charcoal in order to transfer the design to another surface below – a process known as pouncing. The meticulous and closely spaced holes suggest that the sheet served as a cartoon (full-scale design) for an embroidery. The scale, pose, and figural type recall the series of seated saints found in the embroidered bands of fifteenth-century altar coverings. Florentine artists such as Antonio Pollaiuolo and Raffaelino del Garbo are thought to have provided designs for such textiles. The sheet has strong stylistic connections with the monumental painted works of Alesso Baldovinetti, who also prepared designs for intarsia (wood inlay), mosaic, and stained glass.
Attributed to Francesco Botticini (Francesco di Giovanni) (Italian, Florentine, ca. 1446–1497)