The Virgin and Child enthroned and surrounded by angels is a common theme in Italian churches from the late 1200s. Cimabue painted several versions of this iconic artwork, with the Maestà being his largest panel adaptation of traditional Byzantine icons for Western European devotion. The Madonna and Christ Child enthroned with angels and Saint Francis is one of Cimabue’s works from his old age.
Cenni di Pepo, also known as Cimabue, was heavily influenced by Byzantine models as the last great Italian artist in the Byzantine style. He is generally regarded as one of the first great Italian painters to break from the Italo-Byzantine style, progressing art towards naturalism seen in early Renaissance painting. His Flagellation of Christ is confirmed to be housed at The Frick Collection.
Giotto di Bondone, another well-known painter during this time period, has also painted two versions of The Virgin and Child Enthroned. However, between Cimabue and Giotto’s versions, it can be observed that there are differences in style as artists began to move away from each other’s influence. This iconic painting theme has paved the way for many artists throughout history and remains a significant piece in art history today.