Paolo de Stefano Badaloni, called Schiavo because of his Dalmatian origins, was known in Florence for work on the frescoes in San Miniato al Monte (1436) and the Monastery of Sant'Apollonia (1448). Probably completed while Schiavo was working most closely with Masolino, the present panel already displays an increasingly natural approach to drapery, as well as an animated and charming depiction of the relationship between mother and child. The rosy cheeks of the figures lend a lighthearted feeling to the scene as the infant embraces his mother around her neck and leans into her. At the same time, the fictive red and gold canopy behind the figures and the arms of the throne on which they sit remind the viewer both of the tradition of iconic gold-ground panting in Florence from which Schiavo descended, and the divinity of the Virgin and Christ.
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