Among the Mugello’s artistic masterpieces one cannot forget the Madonna with a child by Giotto da Bondone. The small table is placed in the right aisle of the Pieve of Borgo San Lorenzo. It is a masterpiece of only 81.5 cm x 41 cm attributed to a young Giotto around 1290. For many, this painting is the best known of Mugello’s artistic masterpieces. Located in the right aisle of the Pieve di San Lorenzo, it shows the Virgin Mary. She appears to be covered with a splendid blue cloak while supporting the Child Jesus. Unfortunately only the small arms of the child remain stretched out to grab his Mother’s forefinger and to caress her face with tenderness.

This fragment already in the empyrean of the Mugello’s artistic masterpieces, was originally part of a larger Maestà. It was located on the main altar of the oratory, near the bourgeois parish church. The work was removed from this location to be cleaned and restored. This action brought to light an extraordinary pictorial quality, a masterpiece by Giotto. The only painting left in Mugello by the great master of Vicchio di Mugello.

Even in its small size appears the solemn plasticity of the pose of the Virgin with an unreclined face. Our Lady is alive, ready to support and show us her Son, making us participate in the sacred manifestation.

The representation of the Madonna’s garments takes place through a chiaroscuro modulation. The golden highlights of Byzantine art with the use of a single source of light are absent here. The search for three-dimensionality and affectionate intensity never seen before are all clear indications of the new revolution brought about by Giotto. This new concept would soon influence much of Western painting.

The small table is chronologically close to the time of the frescoes of Assisi in the early period of Giotto. Particularly stringent comparisons can be found with the Madonna and Child and above all with some details of the Stories of Isaac, both in the upper basilica of San Francesco in Assisi.

Madonna and Child enthroned with angels. Agnolo Gaddi 1380-1385 – bottom of the right aisle of the pieve of Borgo San Lorenzo

This table is one of best Mugello’s artistic masterpieces. This is the central panel of a polyptych whose sideboards have probably gone missing. It was probably intended for the main altar of the parish church. The wooden table still has a protruding shape that constitutes what remains of the original carpentry. It had to richly adorn the polyptych with a complex golden decoration. Even today it is visible on the base and on the upper ogival arch.Mugello's artistic masterpieces

The table, with a gothic elongated shape, represents the Madonna seated on a draped throne with a very rich decoration. The Virgin holds in her right hand, with a very elegant gesture, a small goldfinch. The opposite hand supports the almost weightless child. It appears dressed in extremely refined clothes in decoration and colors. Finally, eight angels complete the precious scene, in which the outcomes of late-18th-century Florentine painting are clearly visible.

The painting is one of the undisputed Mugello’s artistic masterpieces. It is in fact dated between 1380 and 1385 and its author is Agnolo Gaddi. Agnolo as his even more famous father Taddeo Gaddi are famous for their extreme refinement and decorative richness. Their particularity is also the ability to use precious materials such as gold and lapis lazuli. The altarpiece is a true masterpiece of Florentine painting of the period. It tends to emphasize the richness and decorative profusion, the elegance and the delicacy of formal language. These are influences of the late gothic sensibility. They have now taken the place of the spatial and physical reality of the paintings derived from Giotto.

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