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The Death of St Ephraim and other Scenes from the Lives of the Hermits

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The Death of St Ephraim and other Scenes from the Lives of the Hermits about 1480 - 1500

Not on display

A winding river and colourful architecture punctuate the rocky wilderness which represents the desert around Thebes in Egypt. Included among the population of wild animals and hermits are recognisable figures such as St Jerome, kneeling before a crucifix at the bottom left, and St Francis, receiving the stigmata (Christ's wounds) at the top, centre right. The figures are small in relation to their setting and the proportions of this fifteenth-century panel suggest that it may have been painted as part of a cassone (chest) or other piece of furniture. This might also account for the appearance of secular figures (who possibly form part of a hunting party) in the composition.

Glossary Open


An Italian marriage chest produced in the 14th to 16th centuries. A panel of the chest was frequently decorated with a painting which is known as a 'cassone painting'.


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Cassone, Composition


  • Acc. No. NGL 023.79
  • Medium Tempera on panel
  • Size 49.50 x 163.50 cm (framed: 76.00 x 191.20 x 63.20 cm)
  • Credit Long loan in 1980