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Miklós Boskovits (1935–2011), “Byzantine 13th Century/Madonna and Child on a Curved Throne/c. 1260/1280,” Italian Thirteenth and Fourteenth Century Paintings, NGA Online Editions, http://purl.org/nga/collection/artobject/35 (accessed August 30, 2016).

 

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Overview

This painting and the Enthroned Madonna and Child are the oldest paintings on the National Gallery of Art’s walls. They may have been created by the same anonymous artist in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), then the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Panels such as these were highly influential in the development of Italian painting. They stand at the very beginning of the history of panel painting in Italy. Painting on wooden panel had not been common in medieval Europe as church decorations were mostly on the walls themselves, in fresco or mosaic. Painting on canvas came even later.

Around the 13th century, however, a confluence of events profoundly affected painting in Italy. Focus shifted to a new kind of freestanding imagery: the painted altarpiece. Italy experienced an influx of painted wood panels—and panel painters—from the Byzantine Empire. Following the Fourth Crusade in 1204, many icons (paintings of a sacred personage used as an object of veneration) were brought to Italy from Byzantine sanctuaries in Greece. Byzantine icon painters also left Greece to work in Italy, bringing their techniques and styles with them.

We can see the abstracted style of Byzantine icons here. The gold striations that define folds in clothing, the round volume of Mary’s veiled head, and the frontal pose of Jesus—who looks more like a miniature adult than a child—are all part of the Byzantine tradition. Because their subject is not the temporary appearance of the physical world but a holy and infinite presence, icons avoid direct references to earthly reality and to specific times or places. Instead, their backgrounds are dematerialized with shimmering gold, and figures appear timeless and unchanging.

Entry

The painting shows the Madonna seated frontally on an elaborate, curved, two-tier, wooden throne of circular plan.[1] She is supporting the blessing Christ child on her left arm according to the iconographic tradition of the Hodegetria.[2] Mary is wearing a red mantle over an azure dress. The child is dressed in a salmon-colored tunic and blue mantle; he holds a red scroll in his left hand, supporting it on his lap.[3] In the upper corners of the panel, at the height of the Virgin’s head, two medallions contain busts of two archangels [fig. 1] [fig. 2], with their garments surmounted by loroi and with scepters and spheres in their hands.[4]

It was Bernard Berenson (1921) who recognized the common authorship of this work and Enthroned Madonna and Child and who concluded — ​​though admitting he had no specialized knowledge of art of this cultural area — ​​that they were probably works executed in Constantinople around 1200.[5] These conclusions retain their authority and continue to stir debate. Of the various alternative proposals expressed thus far, only those that have considered them the products of a thirteenth-century Roman or Venetian painter have been definitively abandoned.[6] Berenson’s opinion of the purely Byzantine figurative culture of the two panels still commands wide support,[7] even though the dating of the paintings is in general placed slightly later, c. 1250 or within the second half of the thirteenth century.[8] George Martin Richter’s view that the master who painted them was a Greek active at the time of the Norman kings in Sicily remains isolated.[9] But a Sicilian origin is still supported by those scholars who follow the opinion of Viktor Lazarev that the Kahn and Mellon Madonnas were painted in Sicily during the last quarter of the thirteenth century, by artists who had come from Byzantium or by their local disciples.[10] Some authorities on Byzantine art doubt, however, that the two Madonnas in the National Gallery of Art could have been executed by masters of Byzantine origin.[11] In their view, also endorsed by some experts of Italian medieval painting, the characteristics of the two panels pre­suppose patrons with liturgical needs, iconographic precedents, and cultural traditions consistent with those of the Latin West. Further, they have asserted that the two paintings probably were executed in Tuscany.[12] Other scholars have supported the thesis that the two panels were painted in Cyprus or in Thessaloniki.[13]

Opinions thus vary widely regarding the cultural origin of this painting and the Enthroned Madonna and Child, but significant convergences can be ascertained on some points. It seems generally recognized, for example, that the Kahn Madonna is the earlier of the two images and that it was painted by an artist trained in Byzantium, although possibly at work far from his homeland, and for patrons of Western culture. The close stylistic affinities between the two panels are also commonly recognized, even if the Mellon Madonna is often indicated as the work of a different hand. In more recent years, however, various scholars have again proposed their common authorship.[14]

The sudden appearance of the two panels in tandem and their common provenance from a small Spanish town have been considered strange;[15] indeed, their alleged provenance from a church in Calahorra is authenticated, as far as I know, by no document. On the other hand, the fact that at least in 1912 the two paintings were reported together on the Madrid art market supports a Spanish provenance or at least makes it probable that they were purchased in Spain, perhaps even from the same owner. It would seem strange, in any case, to invent a provenance from Calahorra for paintings allegedly executed by Cimabue or by Cavallini. Various reasons have been adduced to cast doubt on whether both panels could have been executed by the same artist. Roger Fry was the first to emphasize the different structure and pictorial treatment of the two thrones.[16] Many years later, Hans Belting cited the results of technical examinations by Ann Hoenigswald in support of his thesis that “most of the analogies which link the Mellon Madonna to the Kahn Madonna must​ . . . ​be interpreted as a deliberate attempt by the artist of the former to imitate the latter or a similar work.”[17] Several scholars have accepted Belting’s conclusions, although it is fair to say that, in order to exclude the use of different technical procedures by the same painter, one would first need the evidence of systematic analyses — ​​hitherto unavailable — ​​of the pictorial technique of a particular painter in various phases of his career. How can we exclude a priori the possibility of an artist having developed, or having experimented with, new solutions, or different technical procedures, in the course of his career?[18] While we may freely admit that there are some technical differences in the execution of the two Madonnas in the Gallery, we cannot infer from this that they are the work of different hands. Still less can any such conviction dispense us from a careful stylistic analysis of the two images.

The claim is made occasionally that modern restoration drastically altered the Mellon Madonna. A comparison of photographs taken c. 1920 with those taken in more recent times proves indeed that modern conservation measures have been extensive. Yet many parts of the painting that are still clearly legible disclose close resemblances with Enthroned Madonna and Child. The affinities concern not only the formal treatment of such details as the faces of the two images of Mary [fig. 3] [fig. 4] or the delicately poetic interpretation of the main personages, but also the high, sustained qualitative level of the execution of both panels, the skilful use of chrysography to articulate and give relief to the bodies,[19] and some peculiar incongruities in the perspective of the thrones. In the Kahn Madonna the artist proposes a rectangular wooden throne with a very elaborate structure and tries to make it illusionistically credible, not only by the three-dimensional modeling of the individual components but also by making the right rear leg visible through the perforations. But he fails to remove incongruities in perspective: while the throne itself is seen from the left, the four legs are represented as if seen from the other side. In the Mellon Madonna, apart from the painter’s difficulty in convincingly rendering the foreshortening of the circular seat, it may be noted once again that the two front legs are seen from opposite directions: one from the left, the other from the right. It is difficult to think that all this is merely the consequence of the painter’s effort to follow his model, not least because the Mellon Madonna is decidedly not a copy of the other. The two images are in fact different in type and perhaps also in function. Their common provenance seems to suggest that they were executed for the same patron but belong to two different phases of the artist’s career and were intended to satisfy different needs.[20]

Of the comparisons hitherto proposed, the one indicated by Otto Demus, of the Madonna of the Deesis in the southern gallery of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul [fig. 5], a mosaic probably executed immediately after the Byzantine reconquest of Constantinople in 1261,[21] seems particularly significant in support of the Constantinopolitan culture of the artist of the two paintings. However, other images too, whether in the form of frescoes, panels, or miniatures,[22] seem to suggest a similar origin of the two Madonnas, the execution of which is unlikely to have been much later than the Deesis in Hagia Sophia. None of the works hitherto compared with the Byzantine panels in the Gallery in fact seems so close to them as this mosaic in Hagia Sophia, both in facial type and in the extreme delicacy of the modeling; this close kinship represents, in my view, the confirmation — ​​despite frequent denials — ​​of the common authorship of the two paintings.[23]

It is understandable that some decorative forms used in the panels — ​​for example, the elaborate incised decoration of the halos of the Kahn Madonna and the type of throne — ​​should have suggested the artist’s contact with Tuscan figurative culture. But closer analysis will show that the decorative motifs of the halos,[24] as well as the wooden thrones of the Washington paintings, are well known in Byzantine art. The genre of the Madonna and Child Enthroned on a monumental scale, particularly popular in thirteenth-century Tuscany, was also well known in contemporary central and southern Italian painting and in that of the Venetian and Adriatic area.[25] Influenced, in its realistic elements, by icons imported from the various centers of Byzantine art and by products of so-called Crusader art,[26] these large images were at times commissioned from artists of Byzantine origin and training: this seems to me the case of the Madonna in the Basilica of San Nicola at Bari.[27] It seems plausible to suggest a similar origin for the Kahn and Mellon Madonnas, though these are distinguished from the icon in Bari by the particular accomplishment of their execution and by their stylistic kinship with works having at least a probable Constantinopolitan origin. In conclusion, therefore, while admitting that the origin of these paintings will probably long remain a bone of contention, the present state of our knowledge suggests that they were produced in a workshop culturally bound to Constantinople in years not long before or not long after 1261, the presumed date of the image they most closely resemble, the mosaic in Hagia Sophia.

Miklós Boskovits (1935–2011)

March 21, 2016

Provenance

Said to have come from a church, or convent, in Calahorra (province of La Rioja, Spain). Gabriel Dereppes, Madrid;[1] purchased 11 September 1919 by (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris);[2] Carl W. Hamilton [1886-1967], New York, early 1920s;[3] (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris);[4] sold 15 December 1936 to The Andrew W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh;[5] gift 1937 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1997
The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era A.D. 843-1261, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1997, no. 262, repro.
2000
The Mother of God: Representations of the Virgin in Byzantine Art, Benaki Museum, Athens, 2000-2001, no. 68, repro.
2004
Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2004, no. 286, repro.
Bibliography
1921
Berenson, Bernard. "Due dipinti del decimosecondo secolo venuti da Costantinopoli." Dedalo 2 (1921): 285-286, 287 (repro.), 289, 290 (repro.), 291 (repro.), 292-304.
1921
Marle, Raimond van. La peinture Romaine au Moyen-Age. Strasbourg, 1921: 227-228, fig. 115.
1923
Marle, Raimond van. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. 19 vols. The Hague, 1923-1938: 1(1923):503-505, fig. 292.
1924
Mayer, August L. "Correspondence." Art in America 12 (1924): 234-235.
1927
Toesca, Pietro. Il Medioevo. 2 vols. Storia dell’arte italiana, 1. Turin, 1927: 2:1035 n. 39.
1928
Cecchi, Emilio. Trecentisti senesi. Rome, 1928: 12, 125, pl. 1.
1930
Berenson, Bernard. Studies in Medieval Painting. New Haven, 1930: 4-16, figs. 2-4.
1930
Byron, Robert, and David Talbot Rice. The Birth of Western Painting. London, 1930: 101 n. 1.
1930
Schweinfurth, Philipp. Geschichte der russischen Malerei im Mittelalter. The Hague, 1930: 377-379.
1931
Fry, Roger. "Mr Berenson on Medieval Painting." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 58, no. 338 (1931): 245.
1932
Marle, Raimond van. Le scuole della pittura italiana. 2 vols. The Hague and Florence, 1932-1934: 1(1932):519, 522-523, 521 fig. 346.
1933
Lazarev, Viktor Nikitič. "Early Italo-Byzantine Painting in Sicily." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 63 (1933): 283-284, pl. 2a.
1934
Sandberg-Vavalà, Evelyn. L’iconografia della Madonna col Bambino nella pittura italiana del Dugento. Siena, 1934: 43 no. 115, pl. 26b.
1935
D’Ancona, Paolo. Les primitifs italiens du XIe au XIIIe siècle. Paris, 1935: 46-47, fig. 18.
1936
Comstock, Helen. "A Dugento Panel at the Toledo Museum." Connoisseur 98 (1936): 231.
1936
Lazarev, Viktor Nikitič. "New Light on the Problem of the Pisan School." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 68 (1936): 61-62.
1937
Lazarev, Viktor Nikitič. Istorija vizantijskoj živopisi: v druch tomach. Moscow, 1947-1948: 192, 351 n. 116.
1940
Rice, David Talbot. "Italian and Byzantine Painting in the Thirteenth Century." Apollo 31 (1940): 89-90, fig. 2.
1941
Duveen Brothers. Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941: no. 1, repro., as The Madonna and Child Enthroned by Constantinople School.
1941
National Gallery of Art. Book of Illustrations. Washington, 1941: 76 (repro.), 233.
1941
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 31, no. 1, as Enthroned Madonna and Child.
1941
Richter, George Martin. "The New National Gallery in Washington." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 78 (June 1941): 177, pl. 2a.
1942
National Gallery of Art. Book of Illustrations. 2nd ed. Washington, 1942: no. 1, repro. 78, 239, as Enthroned Madonna and Child.
1944
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds., Masterpieces of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1944: 14, color repro., as Enthroned Madonna and Child.
1949
Demus, Otto. The Mosaics of Norman Sicily. London, 1949: 363, 365 n. 27.
1949
Garrison, Edward B. Italian Romanesque Panel Painting: An Illustrated Index. Florence, 1949: repro. 48.
1949
Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 3, repro., as Enthroned Madonna and Child.
1950
Comstock, Helen. "The Connoisseur in America." Connoisseur 126, no. 517 (1950): 52.
1954
Bettini, Sergio. "I mosaici dell’atrio di San Marco e il loro seguito." Arte veneta 8 (1954): 32, n. 6.
1954
Shorr, Dorothy C. The Christ Child in Devotional Images in Italy During the XIV Century. New York, 1954: 21, repro. 25.
1956
Felicetti-Liebenfels, Walter. Geschichte der byzantinischen Ikonenmalerei. Olten, 1956: 61, pl. 65.
1958
Demus, Otto. "Die Entstehung des Paläologenstils in der Malerei." In Berichte zum XI Internationalen Byzantinisten-Kongress. Munich, 1958: 16, 54-55.
1958
Demus, Otto. "Zwei Konstantinopler Marienikonen des 13. Jahrhunderts." Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinischen Gesellschaft 7 (1958): 87-104, fig. 2.
1959
Lazarev, Viktor Nikitič. "Constantinopoli e le scuole nazionali alla luce di nuove scoperte." Arte veneta 13-14 (1959-1960): 11-13, fig. 3.
1959
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Early Italian Painting in the National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1959 (Booklet Number Three in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.): 12, color repro., as Enthroned Madonna and Child.
1960
The National Gallery of Art and Its Collections. Foreword by Perry B. Cott and notes by Otto Stelzer. National Gallery of Art, Washington (undated, 1960s): 6, as Madonna and Child Enthroned.
1961
Swoboda, Karl Maria. "In den Jahren 1950 bis 1961 erschienene Werke zur byzantinischen und weiteren ostchristlichen Kunst." Kunstgeschichtliche Anzeigen 5 (1961-1962): 148.
1962
Bologna, Ferdinando. La pittura italiana delle origini. Rome, 1962: 80-81.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 297, repro., as Madonna and Child Enthroned.
1964
Pallucchini, Rodolfo, ed. La pittura veneziana del Trecento. Venice, 1964: 71-73.
1965
Calì, Maria. "L’arte in Puglia." Arte antica e moderna 15 (1965): 389.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 21, as Enthroned Madonna and Child.
1966
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 1:2-3, color repro.
1966
Stubblebine, James H. "Two Byzantine Madonnas from Calahorra, Spain." The Art Bulletin 48 (1966): 379-381, fig. 2.
1967
Lazarev, Viktor Nikitič. Storia della pittura bizantina. Turin, 1967: 318-319, 347 n. 177.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 14, repro., as Enthroned Madonna and Child.
1968
Rice, David Talbot. Byzantine Painting: The Last Phase. London, 1968: 55.
1969
Bologna, Ferdinando. I pittori alla corte angioina di Napoli, 1266-1414, e un riesame dell’arte nell’età fridericiana. Rome, 1969: 22, 247, 354.
1969
D’Elia, Pina, and Michele D’Elia, eds. Icone di Puglia. Catalogo della Mostra. Exh. cat. Pinacoteca provinciale. Bari, 1969: no. 33.
1970
Beckwith, John. Early Christian and Byzantine Art. The Pelican History of Art. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1970: 140, pl. 262.
1970
Demus, Otto. Byzantine Art and the West. New York, 1970: 216-218, 251 n. 147, figs. 238, 239.
1971
Hutter, Irmgard. Early Christian and Byzantine Art. New York, 1971: 156.
1972
Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 230, 311, 647.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 50, repro., as Enthroned Madonna and Child.
1976
Stoichita, Victor Ieronim. Ucenicia lui Duccio di Buoninsegna. Bucharest, 1976: 30-34, 149-150, fig. 21.
1977
Janson, Horst Waldemar. History of Art. 2nd ed. New York, 1977: 214, fig. 303.
1979
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. Washington, 1979: 1:96-99; 2:pl. 65.
1982
Belting, Hans. "Introduzione." In Il medio oriente e l’occidente nell’arte del XIII secolo, Atti del XXIV congresso internazionale di storia dell’arte, September 10-18, 1979. Edited by Hans Belting. Bologna, 1982: 4-5, 9 n. 19, pl. 10.
1982
Belting, Hans. "The 'Byzantine' Madonnas: New Facts about Their Italian Origin and Some Observations on Duccio." Studies in the History of Art 12 (1982): 8ff, repro.
1982
Hoenigswald, Ann. "The 'Byzantine' Madonnas: Technical Investigation." Studies in the History of Art 12 (1982): 25-31, figs. 1 (ultraviolet light), 2 (X-radiograph), repro.
1982
Tambini, Anna. Pittura dall’Alto Medioevo al Tardogotico nel territorio di Faenza e Forlì. Faenza, 1982: 32-33.
1984
Boskovits, Miklós. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. The Fourteenth Century. Sec. III, Vol. 9: The Miniaturist Tendency. Florence, 1984: 24 n. 60.
1984
Os, Hendrik W. van. Sienese Altarpieces 1215-1460. Form, Content, Function. 2 vols. Groningen, 1984-1990: 1(1984):23, 26, fig. 21.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 67, no. 2, color repro.
1985
Corrie, Rebecca W. "Tuscan Madonnas and Byzantine Masters." In Abstracts and Program Statements for Art History Sessions: Seventy-Third Annual Meeting, College Art Association of America, February 14-16, 1985. Los Angeles, 1985: 46.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 22, repro.
1986
Leone De Castris, Pierluigi. "Pittura del Duecento e del Trecento a Napoli e nel Meridione." In La Pittura in Italia. Il Duecento e il Trecento. Edited by Enrico Castelnuovo. 2 vols. Milan, 1986: 2:463, fig. 717.
1987
Folda, Jaroslav. "The Kahn and Mellon Madonnas: Icons or Altarpieces?" In Research Reports and Record of Activities, National Gallery of Art, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, 7 (1987): 57+.
1988
Wheeler, Marion, ed. His Face--Images of Christ in Art: Selections from the King James Version of the Bible. New York, 1988: 126, no. 23, color repro.
1991
Campagna Cicala, Francesca. "Messina. Scultura, pittura, miniatura e arti suntuarie." In Enciclopedia dell’arte medievale. Edited by Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana. 12 vols. Rome, 1991-2002: 8(1997):353.
1991
Kopper, Philip. America's National Gallery of Art: A Gift to the Nation. New York, 1991: 157, color repro.
1991
Leone De Castris, Pierluigi. “Sicilia: Pittura e miniatura.” In Enciclopedia dell’arte medievale. Edited by Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana. 12 vols. Rome, 1991-2002: 10(1999):619-620.
1993
Di Dario Guida, Maria Pia. Icone di Calabria e altre icone meridionali. 2nd ed. Messina, 1993: 115-116 (repros.), 119, 121.
1995
Folda, Jaroslav. "The Kahn and Mellon Madonnas: Icon or Altarpiece?" In Byzantine East, Latin West. Art-Historical Studies in Honor of Kurt Weitzmann. Princeton, 1995: 501+, repro.
1995
Gombrich, Ernst. The Story of Art. 16th ed. London, 1995: 139, color fig. 88.
1995
Janson, Horst W., and Anthony F. Janson. History of art. 5th ed. New York, 1995: 241-242, fig. 345.
1995
Weyl Carr, Annemarie. "Byzantines and Italians on Cyprus: Images of Art." Dumbarton Oaks Papers 49 (1995): 352 n. 71.
1996
Corrie, Rebecca W. "The Perugia Triptych and the Transmission of Byzantine Maniera Greca." In Acts: XVIIIth International Congress of Byzantine Studies, vol. 3, Art History, Architecture, Music. Edited by Ihor Ševčenko, Gennady G. Litavrin and Walter K. Hanak. Moscow, 1996: 41, fig. 4.
1996
Gordon, Dillian. “Duccio (di Buoninsegna).” In The Dictionary of Art. Edited by Jane Turner. 34 vols. New York and London, 1996: 9:341.
1996
Schmidt, Victor M. "Die Funktionen der Tafelbilder mit der thronenden Madonna in der Malerei des Duecento." Mededelingen van het Nederlands Instituut te Rome 55 (1996): 60-63, fig. 16.
1997
Evans, Helen C., and William D. Wixom, eds. The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843-1261. Exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1997: 391, 396 (repro.), 397.
1997
Gebhardt, Volker. Kunstgeschichte Malerei, 1997, no. 5, repro.
1997
Maginnis, Hayden B. J. Painting in the Age of Giotto: A Historical Reevaluation. University Park, PA, 1997: 77.
1997
Martin, Frank, and Gerhard Ruf. Die Glasmalereien von San Francesco in Assisi: Entstehung und Entwicklung einer Gattung in Italien. Regensburg, 1997: 70 n. 33, 72 n. 142.
1998
Bellosi, Luciano. Cimabue. Edited by Giovanna Ragionieri. 1st ed. Milan, 1998: 58-59, 62 n. 19, 63 n. 22.
1999
Lauria, Antonietta. "Una Madonna tardoduecentesca tra Roma e Assisi." in Arte d’Occidente: temi e metodi. Studi in onore di Angiola Maria Romanini. Edited by Antonio Cadei. 3 vols. Rome, 1999: 2:642.
1999
Polzer, Joseph. "Some Byzantine and Byzantinising Madonnas Painted During the Later Middle Ages, 1." Arte cristiana 87 (1999): 85.
1999
Polzer, Joseph. "Some Byzantine and Byzantinising Madonnas Painted During the Later Middle Ages, 2." Arte cristiana 87 (1999): 167-182, fig. 12.
1999
Velmans, Tania, Vojislav Korać, and Marica Šuput. Bisanzio: lo splendore dell’arte monumentale. Milan, 1999: 202.
2000
Kirsh, Andrea, and Rustin S. Levenson. Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies. Materials and Meaning in the Fine Arts 1. New Haven, 2000: 179-181, fig. 187, 189.
2000
Labriola, Ada. "Lo stato degli studi su Cimabue e un libro recente." Arte cristiana 88 (2000): 343, 350 nn. 18-19.
2000
Vassilaki, Maria, ed. The Mother of God: Representations of the Virgin in Byzantine Art. Exh. cat. Benaki Museum, Athens. Milan and London, 2000: 438-439, 439 repro.
2001
Folda, Jaroslav. "Reflections on the Mellon Madonna as a Work of Crusader Art." In Dei gesta per Francos: Études sur les croisades dédiées à Jean Richard/Crusade Studies in Honour of Jean Richard. Edited by Michel Balad, Benjamin Kedar and Jonathan Riley-Smith. Aldershot, UK and Burlington, VT, 2001: 361-371.
2002
Folda, Jaroslav. "Icon to Altarpiece in the Frankish East: Images of the Virgin and Child Enthroned." In Italian Panel Painting of the Duecento and Trecento. Edited by Victor M. Schmidt. Studies in the History of Art 61 (2002): repro. 122, 131-135, 139, fig. 8.
2002
Polzer, Joseph. "The ‘Byzantine’ Kahn and Mellon Madonnas: Concerning their Chronology, Place of Origin, and Method of Analysis." Arte cristiana 90 (2002): 401-410, repro. 403.
2004
Evans, Helen C., ed. Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261-1557). Exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New Haven, 2004: 476-477, repro.
2005
Corrie, Rebecca W. "The Khan and Mellon Madonnas and their Place in the History of the Virgin and Child Enthroned." In Images of the Mother of God: Perceptions of the Theotokos in Byzantium. Edited by Maria Vassilaki. Aldershot, UK and Burlington, VT, 2005: 293-300, fig. 24.2.
2005
Folda, Jaroslav. Crusader Art in the Holy Land: From the Third Crusade to the Fall of Acre, 1187-1291. New York, 2005: 457-458, 557, fig. 300.
2006
Herbert, Lynley Anne. "Duccio di Buoninsegna: Icon of Painters, or Painter of “Icons"?." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Delaware, Newark, 2006: 4, 11.
2013
Nelson, Robert S. "A Painting Becomes Canonical: Bernard Berenson, Royall Tyler, and the Mellon Madonna." In Renaissance Studies in Honor of Joseph Connors. Edited by Machtelt Israëls and Louis A. Waldman. 2 vols. Florence, 2013: 1:696-701, 969-970, fig. 1.
Technical Summary

The wooden support consists of two linden (tiglio)[1] boards with vertically aligned grain. The panel has been thinned, and three horizontal battens have been attached to its back. Wooden margins at the top and two sides show that an engaged frame may have formed part of its original structure. The gilding is modern, laid over a red bole with gesso and fabric discontinuous from that beneath the rest of the painting.[2] Although the technique of execution is essentially similar in this painting and in the Kahn Madonna, some discrepancies have been observed in the painting procedure; Ann Hoenigswald (1982) considered this evidence of “a difference in the training or traditions of the artists” who painted them.[3] The painted surface has been extensively damaged along the crackle lines and is generally worn and considerably inpainted. Inpainting can also be observed in particular in the faces, in the child’s hair, in the acorn-shaped decorations at the top of the throne, in the chrysography of the draperies, in the borders and red ground of the medallions, in the green ground plane at the foot of the throne, and along the join between the two boards forming the support (which runs vertically between the figure of the Christ child and the face of the angel to the right). A first treatment of the painting c. 1920, probably including restoration of the wooden support, must have been followed by a further treatment, shortly before 1928.[4]