In the Basilica of San Petronio there is a work with a particular history. The Griffoni Polyptych was created by Francesco del Cossa and his successor Ettore de ‘Roberti on behalf of the Griffoni family between 1470 and 1473. The original commission included the construction of an altarpiece to be placed inside the sixth chapel on the left, owned by the Griffoni who, in agreement with the Dominicans, I wanted to dedicate it to the neo-canonized Vincenzo Ferrer. The Cossa in fact reserved the latter for the most important compartment of the entire work with a height of about one and a half meters and a width of sixty centimeters.
The other parts of the tempera painting on wood were reserved for several saints including St. Pietro, St. Giovanni the Battista, St. Floriano and Santa Lucia. The young Roberti, on the other hand, dealt only with the predellas and saints on the pillars.
The extraordinary nature of the work is given by the dismemberment to which the painting was forced in 1730, by the will of Cardinal Pompeo Aldrovandi. The individual pieces are thus finished in the museums of different continents, making every attempt to reunite the work in vain. Currently, Ferrer’s painting is kept at the National Gallery in London, while the other parts are in the Pinacoteca di Brera and in the Washington National Gallery.