(b. ca. 1410, Venezia ?, d. 1461, Firenze ?)

Madonna and Child

c. 1435
Fresco transferred to canvas, 241 x 120 cm
National Gallery, London

The painting is known as the Carnesecchi Tabernacle.

Domenico Veneziano stayed in Florence around 1432; here he began to work as an independent artist, painting his first works between 1432 and 1437, the year he moved to Perugia to paint, as Vasari informs us, "a room in the house of the Baglioni family with frescoes that have been destroyed." The first painting Domenico worked on in Florence was the Carnesecchi Tabernacle, today in the National Gallery, London.

The painting shows a dignified and aristocratic Madonna seated on an elegant throne decorated with splendid marble intarsia; the Child is standing on her lap. The elaborate and accurate perspective construction of the throne, to some extent influenced by Paolo Uccello, is also indicative of another aspect of Domenico's style, his interest in the rules of perspective, for his art belongs entirely to the new language of the Renaissance.

The choice of colours in the London painting is extraordinary: the delicate tones are emphasized by the bright and uniform lighting, widely praised by all art historians as one of the most truly original elements in Domenico's work.

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