The Virgin is shown as the Queen of Heaven, seated on an elaborate gothic throne and surrounded by seraphim. The architectural nature of her throne symbolises the power of the Church. The key and the book of the doorkeeper of heaven identify Saint Peter while Saint John the Baptist is depicted in animal skins and in an attitude recalling his preaching in the desert. The richly tooled gold ground and the spatial inconsistency in the positioning of the figures are typical features of Francesco’s work found also in his Annunciation (Cambridge, Girton College). The figure of Saint John the Baptist seen here is close to that of the same saint in a picture by Vannuccio, dateable c.1370 (Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale) and The Wallace Collection’s picture may date from about the same period.
Where to see this painting?
The Wallace Collection
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