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Predella di Madonna col Bambino che appare ai confratelli sopra la chiesa Siena

Predella di Madonna col Bambino che appare ai confratelli sopra la chiesa

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Artist: Martino di Bartolomeo
Current location: Museo di San Donato - Collezione di Banca MPS
Original location: Chiesa di San Pietro alla Magione


45 x 190 cm

In addition to the qualitative value of the painting, the work of the Sienese painter Martino di Bartolomeo, the painting is striking for the singular layout of the central panel which shows the viewer a small cross-section of Siena in medieval times. The scene, which has as its subject a miraculous apparition of the Madonna, is set on the streets of the city in front of the church of San Pietro alla Magione at Porta Camollia for which the painting to which the predella in question belonged was certainly executed. The Virgin and Child hover above the church in front of which a group of confreres dressed in white and with hoods on their heads witness the miraculous event. The symbol of the cross is found on the robes, hoods and belts of the confreres, members of one of the many lay companies dedicated to worship that have flourished in Italy since the beginning of the thirteenth century: they are, in all likelihood, belonging to the Confraternity dei Bianchi, religious movement born in Chieri in 1399 during the war between Savoy and Monferrato. The movement of the whites spread rapidly to the other regions of the peninsula and the penitents, in white robes on which a red cross stood out, traveled through Italy to bring the fighting cities back to peace; the movement became extinct in the 1400s due to the plague. Characteristic of Martino di Bartolomeo's painting is the adoption of a humanity with polite and elegant gestures: the elegance of the rhythms and the firmness of the shapes derived to the painter from a skilful formal synthesis between the refined variations of the Sienese tradition and the large and vigorous volumes peculiar to the style of Spinello Aretino and Antonio Veneziano, two of the major exponents of the Italian artistic panorama of the late fourteenth century.

Predella di Madonna col Bambino che appare ai confratelli sopra la chiesa