(active in mid-13th century)

Madonna and Child with Saints and Crucifixion

Tempera on wood, 103 x 122 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

From the beginning of the 13th century the Berlinghieri, a family of painters (Berlinghiero and his sons Barone, Marco and Bonaventura), were working in Lucca. They were influenced by the new wave of Byzantinism which reached the peninsula after the capture of Constantinople by the crusaders.

The painting represents one of the earliest surviving examples of the 'Eleusa' Virgin, the 'Affectionate Mother', an iconographic model that was first used for portable household altars although it subsequently became increasingly po[ular and widespread until the end of the fourteenth century, being well suited to the emotional tendency expressed by Gothic art. Bonaventura Berlinghieri instils a liveliness into the figures and objects with a refined, almost miniaturist technique. There is, however, a clear reference to Byzantine models which allow the artist to express his lyrical mysticism.

The painting comes probably from the workshop of Berlinghieri and it is dated variously to the second half of the 13th century.