These four scenes with a gold background were originally part of a portable altar. The two central panels depict the Crucifixion and the Deposition. The panels with the archangel Gabriel and Mary probably formed the doors of the polyptych. At some time in the past, the last two panels were sawn across their thickness: The Carrying of the Cross and the Laying in the Tomb, which were originally on the inner faces, are housed in respectively the Louvre, Paris, and the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. Simone Martini painted the altar for Cardinal Napoleone Orsini (1263–1342), who was active at Avignon as a diplomat during the pontificates of Popes Clement V and John XXII. The cardinal is depicted below in The Deposition. The panels discussed here are masterpieces of early Sienese painting and were purchased by van Ertborn in 1826.


  • Title: Orsini Polyptich
  • Creator: Simone Martini
  • Location: (Sienna 1284 - Avignon 1344)

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