(b. ca. 1400, Vicchio nell Mugello, d. 1455, Roma)

Perugia Altarpiece (central panel)

Tempera and gold on panel, 130 x 77 cm
Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia

This panel, representing the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels, was at the centre of a polyptych painted for the St Nicholas chapel in the church of San Domenico at Perugia. The side panels represent St Dominic and St Nicholas of Bari, as well as St John the Baptist and St Catherine of Alexandria. The work is now displayed without its original frame, and the area which this covered can easily be seen along the upper edge of the panel. Compared with the Linaiuoli altarpiece, this Virgin is less monumental and the Child altogether more sinuous and fleshy. Angelico returns to the circle of angels to create an additional sense of depth, but here the two who would have stood forward of the throne have been replaced by three vases of flowers. The Virgin's throne is a solid classical affair with round arch and pilasters, topped with a swagged frieze. The background of the panel is still gold and abstract.