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Veneto-Cretan school. Late XVI century. Madonna with child and St James as a Pilgrim.

Veneto-Cretan school. Late XVI century. Madonna with child and St James as a Pilgrim.

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Madonna with Child and Saint James as a Pilgrim, painted on wood panel, Veneto-Cretan school, from the late 16th-early 17th century.

Saint James is recognizable by the typical attributes of pilgrims, depicted with a pilgrim’s staff in hand. On his chest, the saint wears a scallop shell, adorned with a simple and modest traveler’s attire, and embroidered keys on his garment.

The Madonna with Child are depicted following the iconography of Byzantine icons.

Size: H 32cm x 28,5cm

This small spruce panel typical of paintings from this school, was created by a painter of Greek or rather Byzantine origins.

These spruce panels are products of the Veneto region, sourced from forests north of Venice. Wood panels made of spruce and other coniferous trees were supplied to painters on the islands by Venetian merchants, thus creating an ancient production chain.

Colonies of Greek painters formed in the Venetian-controlled islands following the fall of Byzantium to the Turks. The painters who took refuge in the islands often received orders from Venetian merchants for the creation of these ancient-style panels, with a more archaic style. However, an interesting phenomenon occurred: a hybrid school emerged, a fusion of two cultures, Italian school of painting, more precisely Venetian, and Orthodox icon painting from the East, from the former Byzantium. 

The panel is in fairly good condition, with a typical curvature for panels of this kind, set in a frame created with antique elements, in carved, gilded, and painted wood.

There are few paint touch-ups; the painting is in its original state with some inevitable oxidation due to the nature of the pigments used by the painter, which have slightly altered over time.

A painting of great charm, very ancient, originating from the residence of a well-known Florentine Tuscan painter. 

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