St. Lucy altarpiece

(c. 1445-1447; Florence, Uffizi)
   Painted by Domenico Veneziano for the Church of Santa Lucia de' Magnoli, Florence, this work presents major advancements in Renaissance religious art. It is one of the earliest depictions of the sacra conversazione type; here, the Virgin and Child interact with Saints Lucy, Zenobius, Francis, and John the Baptist in a silent conversation carried out through gestures and glances. The characters share one pictorial space, a format that would eventually render the triptych obsolete. Veneziano's colorism and skillful use of perspective are evident in this work. Gone is the gilded background of earlier Madonna and Child representations. Instead, the figures occupy an impeccably rendered loggia. Light enters the space diagonally to add to the vibrancy of the colors and to bathe the figures and architectural surfaces. Veneziano's dependence on Masaccio is palpable in the gesture of the Baptist, which repeats the gesture of the Virgin in Masaccio's Holy Trinity (1427; Florence, Santa Maria Novella) that serves to bring the crucified Christ to the viewer's attention.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

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