Santa Lucia de’ Magnoli Altarpiece by Veneziano

Santa Lucia de' Magnoli Alterpiece by Domenico Veneziano

The altarpiece was painted by Domenico Veneziano in 1445-47 for the main altar of Santa Lucia de’ Magnoli Church in via de’ Bardi. It originally had a beautiful predella underneath but this one was been divided and today the pieces can be seen in Washington, Cambridge and Berlin museums.

This artwork, known as the Sacred Conversation, is probably the first and oldest altarpiece with a rectangular form and without a gold background, typical of Gothic polyptych. The most innovative element is the usage of light. In fact, light is fundamental and reaches the whole scene coming in from the top right corner. In addition, the architectural space is harmonious and depicted following the modern principles of geometric perspective, enhanced by the inlaid marble.

The painting depicts the Virgin with child in the center, together with Saints Francis and John the Baptist on the left and Saint Zanobi, Florence patron, and Saint Lucy on the right. It is characterized by a luminous light and bright colors that strongly effected the work of Piero della Francescs, who collaborated with Domenico Veneziano.

You can see the Santa Lucia de’ Magnoli Altarpiece by Veneziano in the hall #8 of the Early Renaissance.