This panel depicts the widely venerated Franciscan saint, Anthony of Padua. A poor restoration removed the lily in his right hand, along with the background and the saint’s halo. Nevertheless, the full-bodied, volumetric quality of the figure remains intact: he tilts his waist slightly as he extends his arms in religious exaltation. The face is also highly naturalistic, showing pronounced cheekbones and a dimpled chin.
The anonymous master of this painting came from the Abruzzo region, east of Naples. He also painted a St. John the Baptist in L'Aquila, hence his name. In the fifteenth century, Abruzzo was more receptive to artistic innovations from within Italy than Naples. In this instance, the artist has borrowed from Piero della Francesca, the painter and mathematician who rendered space, volume, and texture with unprecedented verisimilitude.