Painter/Artist: Antonio Vivarini

Early Venetian School. Active at Murano, 1440-1470, generally in conjunction with “Johannes Alemanus,” but sometimes alone, as in the Adoration of the Kings at Berlin.


THE PARADISE On an elevated throne are seated the Virgin face to face with Christ, who is crowning her, and behind them the Father with the mystic Dove. On either side are a great number of saints in gold-brocaded robes, arranged in three tiers which rise towards the edges of the picture. In the foreground are seated on marble seats at the base of the throne the four Evangelists with their emblems, two on each side; on the left Pope Gregory the Great and St. Jerome, and on the right the two Bishops, St. Augustine and St. Nicholas. On the pedestal of the throne stands a throng of naked children upholding a small pillar and other instruments of the Passion. Inscribed ” Joannes et Antonius de Muriano, 1440.”

The upper part has been repainted and a pinnacle added by Basaiti.

THE VIRGIN AND CHILD AND FOUR SAINTS On canvas, oblong. Enclosed at the back and sides by a richly carved and crenellated screen, the Virgin sits facing us on a low throne, with four little long-robed angels at the sides holding the tall wands that support a flat canopy over it. To left and right stand the four “Doctors of the Church” (as in No. 33), St. Jerome and St. Gregory on the left, and St. Nicholas and St. Augustine on the right. The Child stands on His mother’s left knee offering her a plum.

Painted in 1446 for the Scuola Santa Maria della Carita-the building, that is to say, where it still is.


THE ADORATION OF THE KINGS The whole of the foreground is crowded with figures in rich apparel embossed with gold, the Virgin being seated in the centre with the Child on her right knee, while Caspar kneels to kiss His foot. St. Joseph, just behind, is holding Caspar’s offering. Melchior and Baltasar stand waiting on the left with their offerings in their hands. The stable is in the centre behind the Virgin, and over her head is the mystic Dove in a glory, and in the sky the head of the Father and six angels on each side.

Painted c. 1435-40