These panels once formed the pinnacles of the wings of a now-dismembered portable . A double-tiered central panel originally depicted the below a . The triple-tiered side panels featured pairs of standing saints, with the Getty Museum's panels forming the apex. Kneeling, the greets the Virgin at the moment of Christ's . In the form of a dove, the descends, flying close to the Virgin's face. Paolo Veneziano skillfully placed his figures within the difficult confines of the small trapezoidal space. The depiction of Mary's throne presented a challenge to the artist, but he set it at an angle thus, giving a sense of depth. He used the space above Gabriel by sweeping the angel's wings upwards so that the feathery ends touch the point where the frame meets the panel. The Virgin's facial features, her hieratic pose, and the decorative patterning of her dress and the cloth of honor draping her throne all illustrate conventions of the past. But the figure of Gabriel shows a more modern influence: The innovations of Giotto and other Tuscan artists are seen in the way Veneziano has given the figure a weightiness and bulk achieved through sculptural modeling.
Tempera and gold leaf on panel (about 1348-1350)
by Paolo Veneziano (Italian (Venetian), 1300-1365)
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