Madonna and Child

Paolo Veneziano (Italian, c. 1295 - c. 1362)
c. 1345
Tempera and gold leaf on panel 
43-5/8 x 24-3/8 in. (110.8 x 61.9 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View

Paolo Veneziano's Madonna and Child marries the Venetian aesthetic—based on color and its unifying, descriptive aspect—with the reserved, hieratic Byzantine style. The Christ Child, looking closely at His mother, holds a palm branch, symbolizing His future entry into Jerusalem and subsequent death. The goldfinch, perched on the Madonna’s hand, is a bird associated with thorns and thistles and so is a further allusion to the Passion of Christ. The artist has woven these solemn reminders of Christ’s sacrifice into a visually rich web of color and line.


Baron Constantine Mexis, Vienna and Cologne.
[Knoedler’s, London, jointly owned with Pinakos, Inc., New York, Stock A-7997, 1961; Knoedlers half sold back to Pinakos 11 June 1963].
Major Alfred E. Allnatt (d. 1969) by 1963 (sale, London, Sotheby’s, 6 December 1972, lot 35, ill., as The Madonna and Child Enthroned, to);
[Thos. Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London; sold 1973 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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