St Nicholas of Tolentino is usually depicted in the black Augustinian habit, with a star or a sunburst above him or on his breast, a lily, or a crucifix garlanded with lilies, in his hand. Sometimes, instead of the lily, he holds a vial filled with money or bread. The sunburst may refer to a vision of a star that led him to Tolentino, where he spent much of his life, while the bread refers to the Augustinian custom of blessing the bread and giving it to the poor people.
Here below you can find a selection of paintings portraying St Nicholas of Tolentino and providing a glimpse of his iconography through the centuries.
"Nicholas saving a ship", 14th century fresco credited to either Pietro da Rimini (1315-1335, an early 14th-century Italian painter), or the Maestro of Tolentino, an anonymous 14 century Italian painter from the Giotto-inspired Riminese School of Giovanni and Pietro da Rimini.
Source: By Mattana (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"Nikolaus von Tolentin", a fresco dated ca 1362-1420, painted by an anonymous artist in the chapel of the Martinsturm in Bregenz, Austria.
Source: By Photo: Andreas Praefcke (Own work (own photo)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"Saint Nicolas of Tolentino" by Piero della Francesca (1415-1492), an Italian painter, mathematician and geometer of the Early Renaissance. His painting was characterized by its serene humanism, its use of geometric forms and perspective.
Source: By see filename or category (http://www.aiwaz.net) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"Saint Nicholas of Tolentino", detail from "Madonna and Child with Four Saints" by Pietro Perugino (born Pietro Vannucci, c. 1446/1450-1523), an Italian Renaissance painter of the Umbrian school, whose most famous pupil was Raphael.
Source: Pietro Perugino [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"Saint Nicholas of Tolentino Saving a Shipwreck" by Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia (c. 1403–1482) an Italian painter from Siena.
Source: By Giovanni di Paolo (Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia), Italian (active Siena), first documented 1417, died 1482 1482 (Italian (active Siena)) (Artist/Maker, Details of artist on Google Art Project) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"The Temptation of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino", early 16th century, by an anonymous artist of the Tuscan School.
Source: By Tuscan School, early 16th century (Christie's, LotFinder: entry 5103636) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"San Nicolás Tolentino", ca 1515-1520, by Miguel del Prado (1518-1537), a Spanish renaissance painter.
Source: By Miguel del Prado (http://www.cult.gva.es/mbav/data/185.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"Saint Nicholas of Tolentino reviving the Birds", ca. 1530, by Benvenuto Tisi "Il Garofalo" (1476/1481-1559), a Late-Renaissance Italian painter of the School of Ferrara. His nickname, "Garofalo", may derive from his habit of signing some works with a picture of a carnation (in Italian, garofano).
"The Miracle of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino", early 17th century, attributed to Alonso López de Herrera (1579-1648), a Spanish Dominican fray and portrait painter, active in Mexico between 1609 and 1634.
Source: By attributed to Alonso López de Herrera (San Antonio Museum of Art) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"Saint Nicholas of Tolentino is freeing poor souls from the purgatory", a Baroque fresco dated 1749, by Simon Benedikt Faistenberger (1695-1759), Austrian painter member of an artist family from Kitzbühel a small medieval town located in Tyrol, Austria.
Top image: detail from the early-14th century Giottesque frescoes, attributed variously to the Master of Tolentino, the Master of the Magi of Fabriano, or Pietro da Rimini, depicting scenes from the life of the St. Nicholas of Tolentino and biblical episodes, located in the Cappellone di San Nicola is a Gothic chapel that opens to the cloister of the Basilica of Saint Nicolas of Tolentino complex.
Source: Di Mattana (Opera propria) [Public domain], attraverso Wikimedia Commons