CENNI di Francesco di Ser Cenni
(active 1369-1415 in Florence)

The Virgin of Humility

Tempera on panel, 77 x 51 cm
Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, Pedralbes

This painting combines skill in the portrayal of figures with a complete disregard for spatial perspective and a medieval subject. Iconographically it combines a pantocrator (the mystical mandorla with Christ at the centre, surrounded by angels) with the Holy Spirit, with the Virgin and Child surrounded by the twelve Apostles and a heavenly choir of angels.

The figures are executed in a naturalistic fashion, in proportion and with a sense of three-dimensionality. The space, on the other hand, is resolved in a conventional manner. For this reason we might describe this artist as one who has assimilated the formal techniques of naturalistic representation, but whose art still remains tied to the medieval past in its thematic material and composition.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.