NICCOLÒ DI PIETRO
(known 1394-1440 in Venice)

Madonna and Child and a Devotee

1394
Tempera on paanel, 107 x 65 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

While the chief influence on Alberegno was his experience of the artists working in Padua, Giusto de' Menabuoi in particular, Niccolò di Pietro absorbed influences from even further afield, from Emilia to the Rhineland and Bohemia. The result of this tendency to be interested in what was happening in other cultural centres was that Niccolò di Pietro from 1494 (the date on the Madonna and Child and a Devotee') became the most important Venetian artist working during the period of transition to International Gothic style. In this panel the traditional iconography is respected, even to the miniscule proportions of the figure of Vulciano Belgarzone da Zara who commissioned the painting, kneeling at the feet of the Virgin. But the decorative abstraction of Paolo Veneziano no less than the refined elegance of Lorenzo Veneziano have now gone for ever and in their place is a confident human sense which pervades every figure represented plastically within a composition conceived with precise intentions of rendering a definite spacial entity.