PAOLO VENEZIANO: ALTARPIECES AT THE GETTY

Here’s how this week’s arts and culture piece begins:

Paolo Veneziano (about 1295-1362) was the master of the premier workshop in mid-14th century Venice and is considered to be the father of Venetian painting.

“Paolo Veneziano: Art and Devotion in 14th-Century Venice,” at the Getty through October 3, 2021, is the first monographic exhibit on the artist ever mounted in the United States.

The Getty presents numerous paintings produced in Paolo’s workshop (including Michael the Archangel, Mary Magdalene, and St. Anthony), characterized by fine detail, beautifully expressive figures and extravagant color.

The cornerstone of the exhibit is a reassembled triptych of a kind popular at the time as a means of personal devotion. These small hinged pieces, generally depicting narrative scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and peopled liberally with saints, folded flat and opened with the two side panels like shutters.

The highly refined panels originally formed a larger ensemble but are now scattered across various collections: Annunciation at the Getty Museum, Crucifixion at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and Seven Saints at the Worcester (Massachusetts) Museum of Art.

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