The Majesty from Russia enters into an exciting comparison and dialogue with the three Madonnas by Cimabue, Duccio, Giotto
The exhibition is the result of cultural exchanges between the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Foreign Ministry and the corresponding Russian institutions in honour of the Italy – Russia 2011 celebrations.
The exhibition, organised at the Uffizi Gallery, hosts a large thirteenth-century panel painting (246 x 138 cm) portraying the Madonna and Child Enthroned and seventeen scenes from the Life of Mary. The painting comes from the Pushkin museum in Moscow.
The panel on display is an important Italian 13th-century painting, almost unknown even to scholars of primitive painting, which was purchased on the antiques market in Rome in 1863 by the Russian traveller and collector Petr Ivanovic Sevast’janov, renowned as an enthusiastic collector of Christian antiquities.
The work of art is compared with the three great Maestà (majesty) by Cimabue, Duccio and Giotto. It clearly indicates the influence of the Byzantine pictorial culture that flourished extensively in Italy in the course of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries: the so-called “Greek manner” that Giorgio Vasari mentioned in his Lives.
The exhibition represents a chance to admire a masterpiece from the very origins of Italian painting and to appraise the lively narrative language expressed in the seventeen scenes set at the sides of the central group of the Madonna and Child.