Bartolomeo Bulgarini: Die Anbetung der Hirten (Fragment des St. Viktor-Altars), Inv. Nr. 1917.89, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge (Massachusetts)
Bartolomeo Bulgarini: Die Heilige Korona (Fragment des St. Viktor-Altars), ca. 1350, Tempera auf Holz, 155 x 48 cm, Inv. Nr. 3624, Statens Museum for Kunst, Kopenhagen
Bartolomeo Bulgarini: Der Heilige Viktor (Fragment des St. Viktor-Altars), ca. 1350, Tempera auf Holz, 158 x 47,5 cm, Inv. Nr. 3625, Statens Museum for Kunst, Kopenhagen
Its richness of execution and its artistic quality are what make this panel so captivating. It was once part of the predella of an altarpiece – later largely destroyed – from Siena Cathedral. Bulgarini’s retable and three others by Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Simone Martini surrounded the city’s principal religious work, ‘Duccio’s Maestà’. For his depiction of the blinding of St Victor, the artist used the kiss of Judas as his formal model. Victor’s martyrdom is thus linked in a prestige-enhancing manner with the Passion of Christ.
When Robert von Hirsch (1883–1977) began collecting art at the age of twenty-four, his focus was on Impressionism and Modernism. In the 1920s he expanded his holdings to include works by Old Masters, notably Dürer, Raphael, Rubens and Rembrandt. Von Hirsch’s house in Bockenheimer Landstrasse was a favourite meeting place for Frankfurt art admirers until 1933, when he emigrated to Basel. In 1977 he bequeathed this painting to the museum in memory of his mentor, the former Städel director Georg Swarzenski.