(b. before 1300, d. ca. 1360)

Monument of Doge Francesco Dandolo

Panel and stone
Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice

In the centre of one of the walls of the Chapter Hall, between the two large windows, is the tomb of the Doge Francesco Dandolo (d. 1339). The Byzantine sarcophagus depicts the death of the Virgin surrounded by the disciples with the Redeemer in the middle carrying Mary's soul in the form of a child in swaddling bands to heaven.

Above the sarcophagus in the lunette of the arch is a fine work by Paolo Veneziano (1339), who was the initiator of that school of painting that was to make the city famous throughout the ages. The picture depicts St Francis and St Elizabeth of Hungary presenting the Doge Dandolo and the Dogaressa to the Virgin.

In the painting the new crisp draperies of the lateral figures are contrasted with the blazing chrome-yellow colouring of the Child's tunic and of the throne cloth and the same fabric patterns. Dandolo and his wife participate in a common space with the central figures and are portrayed on a unified scale; this immediacy and the bright colours dominating the scheme introduce a regal worldliness into the still intensely devotional context.