Berlinghiero (Italian, Lucca, active by 1228, died by 1236)
Tempera on wood, gold ground; Overall: 31 5/8 x 21 1/8 in. (80.3 x 53.7 cm); Painted surface: 30 x 19 1/2 in. (76.2 x 49.5 cm)
Gift of Irma N. Straus, 1960 (60.173)
Berlinghiero was the outstanding painter of thirteenth-century Lucca. This paintingof exceptional beauty and importanceis one of only two that can be confidently assigned to him on the basis of comparison with a signed crucifix. Berlinghiero was always open to Byzantine influence, and this Madonna is of the Byzantine type known as the Hodegetria, in which the Madonna points to the Child as the way to salvation.