The Master of the Misericordia, named in 1958 by Richard Offner after the impressive altarpiece in the Accademia, Florence, was one of the most effective and productive painters active in Florence in the period from circa 1355 to 1390. Formed in the world of Taddeo Gaddi and Bernardo Daddi, the dominant Florentine artists of the previous generation, his development paralleled that of Giovanni da Milano, and anticipated that of the Florentine masters of the late Trecento. Offner’s core group of pictures by the Master was significantly expanded by Boskovits in 1973 (M. Boskovits, Pittura Fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento, 1370-1400, Florence, 1975, pp. 366-72) and by Chiodo (op. cit.).
This characteristically incisive panel was in 1987 accompanied by a letter from Roberto Longhi assigning it to the Maestro di Sant’Eligio, whose oeuvre has since been subsumed into that of the Misericordia Master. As Chiodo noted, the punch employed for the borders is apparently the same as that used in pictures by the artist at Bern and Cambridge, Massachusetts (op. cit., pls. XXII and XXXV) (cf. M. Frinta, Punched decoration: on late medieval panel and miniature painting, Prague, 1998, I, p. 399).