Giovanni dal Ponte (1385 - 1437/8), Madonna and Child with Angels, 1410s. Tempera and tooled gold leaf on panel, 88.3 cm x 57.8 cm. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, USA.
The iconography and technique of this panel are medieval. Set against a cloth of honor held by angels and wearing a crown, the Virgin appears as Queen of Heaven. This is also implied by her seated position; before it was cut along the bottom edge, the panel may have shown the step of a throne. Christ's erect posture and gesture of benediction signal his theological identity as the New Church, while his finch and strand of coral symbolize the Passion, fate of his human incarnation. The exposed upper corners prove that the panel originally had an attached gilt frame. In a typical arrangement, the painting would have been the central image of a many staged altarpiece, with panels of saints to either side. If the austere composition and bold shapes hark back to early Florentine painting and the work of Giotto, a pronounced stylization and a remote feeling reflect intervening developments in the later fourteenth century. At the same time, the intricate ornamentation, the curvilinear rhythm in the Child's cloth and the Virgin's hem, and even the hint of graduated modeling in their flesh are evident responses to the extreme refinement and incipient realism of International Style painting. (source: http://www.terminartors.com)