Art: Patience Rewarded

Detroit's Institute of Arts, which has been energetically working its way up the list of the nation's top museums, added a treasure last week that even such giants as Manhattan's Metropolitan and Washington's National Gallery would be proud to own. The painter was Italy's Renaissance Master Stefano di Giovanni Sassetta (1392-1450). The work: a dramatic series of three small (the largest, 19¼ by 25 in.) panels from a 15th century altarpiece showing Christ's Agony in the Garden, The Betrayal of Christ and the Procession to Calvary. Together the three paintings make up the only Sassetta predella (i.e., a strip of paintings...