Polyptych of St. Vincenzo Ferreri
The second altar is dedicated to the Spanish Dominican St. Vincenzo Ferreri who died in 1419 and was canonised in 1455. The polyptych is divided into nine compartments; originally there were ten: in the lunette above there used to be the Eternal. The figure of the great healer dominates the centre of the work among the two side figures of saints Christopher, on the left, and Sebastian on the right. In the three upper compartments: the Archangel Gabriel, on the left; the Dead Christ, in the centre; the Annunciation, on the right.
The lower part comprises a long altar-step divided into three panels in which are represented five miracles of St. Vincenzo. To the left The saint saves a woman caught by the waters of a river, and Protects a woman and a child trapped beneath the ruins of a fallen house; the two miracles are separated by a column. In the centre, the saint in the famous Toledo sermon brings to life two dead men so that they should testify to the truths he preaches. To the right, again separated by a column, you can see the saint revives a childand frees prisoners.
The beautiful classic style frame is of the early 16th century. Under the altar, the blessed Tommaso Caffarini’s body, Dominican, confessor and first bio-grapher of St. Catherine of Siena.
In 1914 Roberto Longhi put an end to the question of the authorship of this famous polyptych, attributing it conclusively to Giovanni Bellini. Hitherto it had been attri-buted to Alvise Vivarini, to Bartolomeo Vivarini, to Carpaccio, to Bastiani, and to Francesco Bonsignori. Longhi dates it to 1460-65 and Fogolari more exactly to 1464. In 1994 this polyptych has been repaired and brought again to its ancient splendour.