Madonna and Child
c. 1345
Paolo Veneziano (Italian, c. 1295 - c. 1362)
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.


  • Artist Name: Paolo Veneziano (Italian, c. 1295 - c. 1362)
  • Title: Madonna and Child
  • Date: c. 1345
  • Medium: Tempera and gold leaf on panel
  • Dimensions: 43-5/8 x 24-3/8 in. (110.8 x 61.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1973.24.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

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.

[on loan]

  • The National Gallery, London, 1963 to 1970

Paolo Veneziano: Art and Devotion in 14th-Century Venice

  • J. Paul Getty Museum, 2021-07-13 to 2021-10-03
  • Palluchini, Rodolfo, La Pittura Veneziana del Trecento, fig. 116 p. 41
  • Muraro, Michelangelo, Paolo da Venezia, 1970, fig. 2 pp. 36, 112
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 12
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 977 p. 358
  • Renato Miracco, Italian Treasures in the U.S. An Itinerary of Art, 2014, p. #40
  • Llewellyn, Laura, Paolo Veneziano: Art and Devotion in 14th-Century Venice, 2021, cat. 10 p. 20, p. 84, 86, p. 128 ; p. 129 (ill.)
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