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Madonna and Child

Bartolomeo Vivarinic. 1480

The Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb

The Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb

The painting of Madonna and Child is a characteristic specimen of Venetian painting of the second half of the 15th century. This is a period when the Venetian and Byzantine Gothic traditions were still powerfully interwoven, primarily manifested here in the relatively strong, closed static form, and the handling of the composition based on new ideas about the space of the painting, that is on the linear perspective, basic structural element in the creation of a third dimension. Although this cannot be ascribed with absolute certainty to the great painter of the Venetian early Renaissance Bartolomeo Vivarini (Murano, 1432 – before 1499), a number of stylistic, compositional and formal elements would suggest his immediate propinquity if not actual authorship. The reason for the relatively early dating (about 1480) lies in the fact that in this Madonna and Child, the stylistic synthesis of the Venetian painting tradition and the new early Renaissance elements not to be achieved until the works of Giovanni Bellini has still not been attained.

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