Description This magnificent enthroned Virgin and Child with four saints and two angels originally formed the center of a folding triptych, a three-part painting. The delicate punch-work in the haloes, costumes, and borders is typical of Sienese panel painting, and are effects derived from metalwork. Pietro Lorenzetti excelled at investing his sacred pictures with human qualities, such as the Christ Child's playful interaction with the bishop-saint on his right. The twisting pose of the Christ Child and the forward-leaning postures of the angels behind the throne are the invention of this remarkable painter and introduce a powerful sense of three-dimensional space into the scene. The varied burnishing and polishing techniques cause the gold background to react differently to light, creating a sense of depth and movement and evoking the preciousness of shimmering metal.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1881 catalogue: no. 16; 1897 catalogue: no. 21 as school of Giotto]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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