Key to Umbria: Spoleto

Bartolomeo da Miranda came from the fortified village of Miranda, some 10 km south east of Terni.  He was documented in Todi in 1437, when Bishop Bartolomeo Aglioni asked him to evaluate a work of art that he had commissioned from Lello da Velletri.  This was an important commission, and Bartolomeo must have been at the height of his career.  He is referred to in this document as “Bartholomeum magistri Dominici de Miranda habitorem in civtate Spoleti” (Bartolomeo, the son of Domenico da Miranda, a citizen of Spoleto). 

His father, Domenico da Mirando, was documented among the artists at work in the Vatican for Pope Urban V in 1369.  He was subsequently documented at Spoleto, where he produced a miniature for the Duomo in 1395 and where he worked for the Commune in 1404.  No surviving works of art can be attributed securely to him, but Filippo Todini (1991) suggested he could be the Maestro della Dormitio di Terni.  Domenico may well have moved his family to Spoleto in or before 1395, either before Bartolomeo was born or while he was still very young.

The surviving works signed by Bartolomeo are:

  1. a fresco (1449) of the Madonna del Latte with SS Catherine of Alexandria, Mary Magdalen, John the Baptist and Bernardino of Siena in SS Pietro e Andrea, Trequanda (40 km south east of Siena); and

  2. a number in Santa Maria di Pietrarossa, outside Trevi (see below), one of which is dated by inscription to 1449.

Most of the attributions below are by Bruno Toscano (1984).


Madonna and Child (1437)

This fresco in the crypt of San Ponziano is dated by inscription.

Sant’ Eufemia Tryptych (1450)

Marco Condulmer commissioned this altarpiece for the high altar of Sant' Eufemia at the time he changed its dedication to Santa Lucia.  It is now in the Museo Diocesano.

The altarpiece is usually attributed to Bartolomeo da Miranda, although Filippo Todini has rejected this and designated it as the autograph work of the Maestro del Trittico di Sant’ Eufemia.  It altarpiece depicts:

  1. the Virgin of the Assumption, with four angels and the Apostles in the central panel;

  2. St John of Spoleto (whose relics were under the altar) on the left; and

  3. St Lucy on the right. 

The predella depicts three scenes the martyrdom of St Lucy.

Communion of St Catherine of Siena (ca. 1461)

This fresco is in San Domenico, to the left of the Cappella di San Pietro Martire.  Christ flies down to give the Host to St Catherine while two angels (one of which has been lost) hold a crown above her head.  The stigmata on her right hand is clearly visible.  The fresco was probably commissioned soon after the canonisation of St Catherine in 1461.  It is usually attributed to Bartolomeo da Miranda, although Filippo Todini has rejected this and designated it as the autograph work of the Maestro del Trittico di Sant’ Eufemia (see above).


Annunciation (15th century)

This damaged fresco fragment to the right of the entrance to San Domenico is attributed  to Bartolomeo da Miranda.

Massa Martana

Madonna del Latte with Saints (15th century)

This venerated fresco, which is attributed to Bartolomeo da Miranda, was originally in a wayside tabernacle until the church of Santa Maria della Pace was built to house it.  Andrea Polinari restored the fresco in 1603 and it now forms the altarpiece of the high altar.  It depicts the Madonna and Child with SS John the Baptist and James.


Frescoes (15th century)


Three frescoes on the right wall of Santa Maria di Turrita are attributed to Bartolomeo da Miranda:

  1. St Christopher, who carries the baby Jesus across a stream;

  2. the Madonna and Child, with an inscription that includes part of the date (MCCCC...); and

  3. the Madonna and Child with St Lucy.


Triptych (15th century)

This triptych, which originally belonged to the Confraternita di San Michele Arcangelo, was later in Palazzo Vescovile before it entered the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo.   The central panel depicts a half-length Madonna and Child on a gold background: the baby Jesus holds an apple and points to it with His other hand. 

The saints on the inner surfaces of the closing doors were painted over in the 17th century with images of two Servite friars.


Mystic marriage of St Catherine of Alexandria (1435)

This fresco on the counter-façade of San Lorenzo has been heavily repainted and the attribution to Bartolomeo da Miranda is tentative.

Frescoes (15th century)

These fresco in the Oratorio di San Biagio depict;

  1. the Madonna and Child with St Peter Martyr and St Blaise, in which St Blaise holds the wool comb with which his flesh was torn to shreds during his martyrdom (on the back wall, to the left); and
  2. St Antony of Padua  (on the right wall).

Madonna del Latte (1373, repainted in the 15th century)

The venerated image for which the church was built is on the high altar of the Chiesa Tonda.  The 15th century repainting is attributed, somewhat uncertainly, to Bartolomeo da Miranda. 


Madonna and Child (15th century)

This image was moved from the facade of San Marco, Terni to the interior in 1606.  It is now in a much later frame on the back wall of the deconsecrated church.

The standing Virgin holds a pomegranate and the baby Jesus points to a bird that He perches on His other arm.


As noted above, six frescoes in the church of Santa Maria di Pietrarossa, outside Trevi are signed or attributer to Bartolomeo di Miranda.  A number of other frescoes in rural churches in the area are attributed to him.

Santa Maria di Pietrarossa

The frescoes in Santa Maria di Pietrarossa that are (or were) signed by Bartolomeo da Miranda comprise:

  1. three on the right of the portico:

  2. the Madonna delle Spighe (1449), which depicts the Madonna and Child enthroned, with the Virgin holding a bird and some ears of corn (“spighe”) - illustrated here; 
  3. the Madonna with a fragmentary inscription “meo” and another that identifies the donor, Gacucius da Macino;

  4. the Madonna and Child enthroned, with a now illegible inscription, in which the Madonna holds a pomegranate; and

  5. three on the right wall:

  6. the Annunciation; and

  7. two of the three frescoes of the Madonna and Child below it:

  8. -the Madonna and Child enthroned (in the middle); and

  9. -the Madonna and Child in which the baby Jesus holds an apple (on the right).

A number of other frescoes in the church are attributed to him.

Other Rural Churches

St Peter

This fresco of the standing St Peter is in the apse of San Pietro a Pettine

Madonna and Child with angels

This panel, which seems to have been the central panel of a polyptych, came from San Stefano, Picciche and is now in the Museo Diocesano, Spoleto.   It is usually attributed to Bartolomeo da Miranda.  However, Filippo Todini rejected this attribution and gave the work instead to Teodoro da Spoleto, who is known from a signed altarpiece (1475) in Santa Caterina, Portaria (6 km south of Acquasparta.

The panel depicts the Madonna and Child with angels.  Christ above holds a book with the words (translated) “I am the light of the world”.

Madonna and Child with saints

This fresco, which was discovered in a farmhouse of the Agriturismo i Mandorli, Bovara (which must once have been a chapel) after the 1997 earthquake.   It depicts the Madonna and Child with SS John the Baptist and Peter and is dated by inscription to 1449 (or perhaps 1440). 


B. Toscano, “Bartolomeo da Miranda”, in M. Natale, “Scritti di Storia dell' Arte in Onore di Federico Zeri”, Milan (1984) Volume I, pp. 93-112.

F. Todini, “Lello da Velletri e il Vero Bartolomeo da Miranda”, Studi di Storia dell’ Arte, 2 (1991) pp. 51-84.

R. Quirino, “La Chiesa di Santa Maria di Pietrarossa presso Trevi: Gli Affreschi”, Bollettino della Deputazione di Storia Patria per l’ Umbria, 87 (1990) 93-103 for the work of Bartolomeo da Miranda in Santa Maria di Pietrarossa.

A. Marbottini Marabotti, “Pinacoteca Comunale di Spello”, Perugia, (1995): p26 for Bartolomeo da Miranda in Spello.

There is a bibliography on this artist on the website Arte Antica.

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Bartolomeo da Miranda (died after 1449)

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