The Madonna in Majesty (Cimabue)

The Madonna in Majesty (Cimabue)

Artist Cimabue

Date ca. 1280-90

Movement Proto-Renaissance

Medium Tempera on panel

Dimensions 12’7.5″” x 7’4”

Housed at Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence


Tuscany experienced a great influx of Byzantine influence during this period—Cimabue was likely to have been mentored by a Greek painter. The brilliant, gold-leaf background and garment highlights, along with the Virgin’s gesture and expression, hearken to Byzantine works; however, the garment highlights do not form sunbursts as do their Byzantine counterparts, but rather follow the natural folds of clothing. The composition of angels and the sheer size of the piece liken it to the altarpiece of St. Clare. Hebrew profits help provide the foundation for Mary, clearly symbolizing the link between the Old and New Testaments.