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Art Diary

Pesellino: A Renaissance Master Revealed

1 December 2023

Francesco Pesellino established a strong reputation in mid 15th-century Florence for his exceptional draughtsmanship and talent in the painting of miniatures (known as cose picole – ‘small things’). Yet, due in part to his early death at the age of 35 and the misattribution of many of his surviving works, his oeuvre has since been largely overlooked. Pesellino: A Renaissance Master Revealed, at the National Gallery in London, is the first major exhibition to be dedicated to the artist (7 December–10 March 2024). Highlights include the Pistoia Santa Trinità Altarpiece (1455–60), one of only two large-scale altarpieces known to have been produced by Pesellino, and a pair of cassone panel paintings (c. 1453–35) that depict scenes from the life of David. Find out more on the National Gallery’s website.

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King Melchior Sailing to the Holy Land (c. 1445–50), Francesco Pesellino. Photo: © Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Beheading of Saint James the Great: Predella Panel (1455–60), Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop. Photo: © National Gallery, London

Pistoia Santa Trinità Altarpiece (1455–60), Francesco Pesellino, Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop. Photo: © The National Gallery, London