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

Madonna and Child

after 1447
Tempera on wood, 83 x 57 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The Madonna and Child in Washington and the Saints John the Baptist and Francis in the Santa Croce Museum in Florence both belong to Domenico's late period and are closely related stylistically to the Magnoli Altarpiece.

The Washington Madonna is the same elegant and gentle figure typical of all Veneziano's female characters. The background is taken up by a flowering hedge, a motif that by this time had become quite common in mid-Quattrocento Florentine painting.

The dating of this painting is a matter of controversy: some scholars think that it must have been painted just before the Magnoli Altarpiece, while others consider it an early work. But the most convincing theory dates it at after 1447: the argument is that certain elements present in this Madonna, such as the pale colours and the strongly sculptural modelling of the figures, are typical of Domenico's late works.

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