Saint James Freeing Hermogenes, an important painting by one of the world's most beloved Renaissance artists, was privately owned and rarely seen until two decades ago, when it was acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum. Now an eminent authority reviews previous studies on this beautiful Fra Angelico painting and draws on new technical and archival research to provide a more precise reconstruction of its original format and context. In analyzing this painting, Laurence Kanter reexamines and confirms Fra Angelico's status as a pioneer of the new representational style championed in Florence in the early fifteenth century by Brunelleschi, Masaccio, and Donatello, and he shows why he was one of the great artistic minds of his age. Kanter presents both detailed information for students and an introduction for the general reader to the methods and procedures of reconstructing and interpreting history when little contemporary written testimony survives.
Laurence B. Kanter is the Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of Early European Art at the Yale University Art Gallery.