Madonna col Bambino in trono (c.1420)

Gentile da Fabriano (c.1370-1427)

Madonna col Bambino in trono (Madonna and Child Enthroned)
Tempera on poplar panel, 95.7 x 56.5 cm
National Gallery of ArtWashington

A young woman, holding a baby in her lap, sits on a wide bench draped with a patterned midnight-blue fabric in this vertical panel painting. The panel is rectangular at the bottom and becomes a pointed arch at the top. The woman and baby both have pale skin tinged with peach, and halos inscribed on a gleaming gold background. The woman’s body is angled to our right and she tilts her head in that direction to look down at the child. She has a slender, oval face, with hazel-brown eyes under thin brows, a long nose, and coral-pink lips. A sliver of blond hair peeks out from the honey-gold cowl that covers her head, neck, and shoulders. The cowl is layered over her gold-trimmed, burgundy-red robe, which has an opening through which her right arm, closer to us, reaches to support to the child. That arm is covered by a long, gold sleeve patterned with scalloped brick-red and marine-blue designs and smoke-gray flowers. The word “MATER” is inscribed on her neckline and “AVE MARIA GRATIA PLENA DOM TECV BEN” along the bottom hem. On the woman’s lap, the child is angled to our left with the woman’s slender hands wrapped around his torso. His mouth is slightly open as he tilts his head up to look at her. His right hand, on our left, reaches up to gesture at her neckline. He has wavy, blond hair and hazel eyes under faint brows, a small nose, and peach-colored lips set in a round face. He wears an ankle-length, cobalt-blue tunic trimmed with bright gold. The fabric on the bench is covered with cobalt-blue and crimson-red flowers, and pools around the seat and across the floor. (NGA)