Franjo Matijin, Predella with Scenes from the Life of St. Anthony of Padua

16th cent.
In the Franciscan Museum, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The left panel illustrates the story of the saint's restoring the foot of a young man named Leonardo, which the latter had severed because of a misunderstanding of what Anthony had said. The woman behind the young man is his mother, who brought Leonardo back to Anthony to be cured.1 There is no fourth person in the story; one might conjecture that the older man in red is a physician or possibly the father.

The left-middle panel shows Anthony preaching before the Pope and ecclesiastical dignitaries from diverse parts of Christendom, each of whom was able to understand him in his own language.2

The right-middle panel may represent Anthony's preaching before another assembly convoked by the Archbishop of Bruges, the only bishop I have found in the legends. But the saint's address to the archbishop was rather hostile, so his crossed-arms posture in this image would not seem appropriate.3

The right panel is also puzzling. Who is the bearded man in the bed? Is the young man in front being resurrected? There is one story in which Anthony does effect such a miracle,4 and another in which he resuscitates a boy who had accidentally been put into a cauldron of hot water,5 though the object from which he is rising seems more like a coffin.

Detail of the left panel
Detail of the left-middle panel

Detail of the right-middle panel
Detail of the right panel

More of St. Anthony of Padua

This image in full resolution

Photographed at the museum by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike license.

1 Arnald of Sarrant 186f.
2 Ibid.162f.
3 Ibid. 173f. Acta Sanctorum, June volume 2, 727 15.
4 Ibid. 179f.
5 Ibid. 179.