(b. ca. 1320, Firenze, d. ca. 1365, Firenze)


c. 1355
Cappella Strozzi di Mantova, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

At the north end of the transept of Santa Maria Novella two brothers who were heads of a very large and active workshop, Andrea di Cione (known as Orcagna) and Nardo di Cione provided the altarpiece and frescoes for the Strozzi Chapel, one of the most important decorative programs of the time.

Dominican commitment to orthodoxy, order, and the institutional church is evident on the left wall of the chapel where a Paradise shows the elect arranged row upon row, around and beneath the figures of the enthroned Divinity and the Virgin. Both figures are crowned; the figure of God even holds a sceptre. In this configuration the Virgin - or metaphorically Maria Ecclesia (the Church) - shares unmistakably the power of the Godhead on the model familiar from Roman thirteenth-century mosaics.

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