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Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) was a Portuguese Catholic priest and close follower of the revered Saint Francis of Assisi (c. 1181-1226). Leaving his life of wealth and comfort in Portugal, Anthony joined the Franciscan Order, preaching, teaching, and performing miracles in Italy. Because of his good deeds, he was one of the most quickly canonised saints in the history of the Catholic Church, as Anthony was canonised by Pope Gregory IX less than a year after his death. The patron saint of the lost and stolen, Saint Anthony is often portrayed holding a lily and a book, as seen in this painting. 

Along with a small painting depicting Saint Francis of Assisi – also in the Dulwich Picture Gallery collection - this is one of the outer panels from a predella, the long horizontal structure at the base of an altarpiece. It formed part of the Colonna Altarpiece, which was painted by Raphael (1483-1520) in around 1502 for the Franciscan convent of Sant’Antonio in Perugia. The intact altarpiece hung in a part of the church reserved for the nuns of the convent until 1663 when the nuns of Sant’Antonio sold the predella to cover their debts. The main part of the altarpiece, together with one predella panel, is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The other predella panels are in the National Gallery London and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

Currently on display

Gallery 2
25.7 x 16.4 cm
Oil on panel
Bourgeois Bequest, 1811
Accession number