Unique Early Renaissance Work of Art at the Art Museum Riga Bourse
Gentile da Fabriano (circa 1370–1427) is an Italian Early Renaissance painter known for his International Gothic style paintings. He was born in Fabriano, a small town not far from Perugia located halfway between Rome and Florence. As a young man, Gentile travelled a lot, visiting and painting in Marche, Umbria, Lombardy, Venice, Florence, Siena, Orvieto, and Rome.
Based on stylistic analysis of Gentile da Fabriano’s oeuvre, the painting “La Madonna dell’Umiltà”, from the collection of the National Museum of San Matteo in Pisa, is attributed to the painter’s Florence period.
The National Museum of San Matteo acquired “La Madonna dell’Umiltà” in 1893. The small size of the painting suggests that the work of art was originally commissioned by a patron of the arts for his collection. A popular opinion is that it might have been Alemanno Adimari, formerly the Archbishop of Pisa.
“La Madonna dell’Umiltà” shows, symbolically, the movement towards secular life. Madonna is depicted sitting on a pillow on the ground, or as close to the earth as possible. In the interpretation of Gentile da Fabriano, the material world – contrary to the prevalent approach at the time – is much more prominent as revealed in the great detail of the clothes and jewels he loved to paint.
The National Museum of San Matteo in Pisa offers us the opportunity to see the beautiful and at the same time simple painting during the wonderful Christmas season.