Review by Nicola Linza
The middle of the thirteenth century spearheaded a proliferation of panel painting in Italy and soon afterward began a grand transformation of existing painted crosses, altar frontals, and monumental panels of the Virgin and Child. Italian Panel Painting in The Duecento and Trecento published by Yale University Press brings together various approaches to panel painting of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
As a significant period of Italian artistic achievement that has received less attention than the Renaissance this scholarly volume highlights the development of new types of panel painting, particularly various forms of altarpieces, lunette-shaped panels for architectural settings, small-scale panels for personal devotion, and painted chests for private homes.
An international gathering of important art historians, curators and conservators discuss specific types of panel paintings, and examine local traditions, individual artistic solutions, patronage, production, use, iconography, as well as the relationship of panel painting to other art forms. The volume fully addresses liturgy, aesthetics, the perception and function of religious imagery, and style like no other to date. This is a required acquisition for any important art library, and a must have for the serious aficionado of Italian artistic achievement.