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The Archangel Raphael Preventing an Assassination

1471
Neri di Bicci, Italian (active Florence), 1419 - January 4, 1493

In this scene set in a Florentine street, the archangel Raphael is shown saving a man from being killed. The victim’s turban-like hat, known in Italian as a mazzocco, has unfurled in the fray.

The obsession of Florentine artists with the illusionistic rendering of three-dimensional space, or perspective, can be seen in this painting; the incised lines for working out the architecture are visible through the paint. This panel originally formed a section of the predella, or base, of an altarpiece made for the church of Santo Spirito in Florence. The architect who designed the church, Filippo Brunelleschi (Italian, 1377–1446), inspired the use of perspective in painting through his experiments in constructing buildings according to mathematical principles.
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Object Details

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