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Saints Ursula and Christine

Paolo Veneziano, one of the most influential Venetian painters of the fourteenth century, was also highly prolific, running a large workshop with his three sons. Their panel paintings, mainly altarpieces, were highly sought after. These small panels depicting two female saints likely formed part of a portable altarpiece, which could be placed in a home or used when traveling. Paolo’s style is characterized by gold backgrounds and jewel-like colors, which were influenced by the gold and colored glass mosaics of Byzantium. Venice, a major sea power, traded with the Byzantine capital of Constantinople, ensuring Venetian artists’ familiarity with Byzantine art and luxury goods.

Paolo Veneziano or Workshop
Italian (Venetian), fl. ca. 1333‒1358; died before 1362
Saints Ursula and Christine
ca. 1333‒58
Tempera on panel
12 x 8 ½ in. (30.5 x 21.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Samuel H. Kress Study Collection, 62.161