(Pisa, documented from 1321 to 1345)
Virgin and Child
Tempera on panel, gold ground
25 x 20 1/16 in (63,5 x 51 cm)
Unquestionably a masterpiece from the early career of Francesco Traini, this Virgin and Child is one of the most striking creations of Tuscan painting during the first half of the fourteenth century. The elegance of design and the tenderness of the flesh passages, so delicately rendered on the rosy cheeks of the Virgin, reflect the influence of the great Sienese painters Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi, who had been active in Pisa during Traini’s youth.
The virtuoso decoration of drapery, haloes and pastiglia is worthy of a goldsmith, and would have sparkled in a candlelit interior. The sweetness of the Virgin’s gaze, with the beginnings of a smile, is deeply touching, while the Child responds playfully, his mouth open enough to reveal his teeth, in an attitude of remarkable naturalism.
Acquired by the Louvre Abu Dhabi