Commissioned by Luigi Gozzi, a nobleman from Ragusa who lived in Ancona for a good part of his life, Tiziano's altarpiece
(size: cm. 322 x 207, Pinacoteca Civica Francesco Podesti) was placed at first on the high altar of the Church of San Francesco ad Alto (currently headquarters of the military district), where it remained until 1862, when, following the post-unification suppressions, it was transferred to the Church of San Domenico and exposed in the first altar on the left, then in the third altar on the right; here it remained until 1928 when it became part of the Municipal Art Gallery, at the former convent of San Francesco alle Scale. During the Second World War, the altarpiece was sent to Rome, from where, after being restored in 1952, it returned to Ancona, to be exhibited from 1959 in Palazzo degli Anziani, then the seat of the Civic Art Gallery. Following the earthquake, since 1974, it was finally settled at Palazzo Bosdari, after being subjected to a little cleaning treatment at the laboratories of the Superintendence of Urbino's restoration. The painting represents a fundamental moment in Tiziano's pictorial iter: it is the first dated work that is known of the artist (in a cartouche at the bottom one can read ALOIXIUS GOTIUS RAGUSINUS / FELIT FIERI / MCCXX /TITIANUS CADORINUS PINSIT
). On the occasion of the exhibition on the restoration work of Gozzi's altarpiece
(1987) and the new exhibition design, unpublished news
about some tampering done Tiziano's work have emerged, around the middle of the 17th
century, concerning the adaptation of the rectangular arched blade and the insertion of two saints, presumably autograph, painted on a sort of predella, today disappeared.