This central panel from an altarpiece shows the Madonna seated on a throne with the infant Christ, surrounded by kneeling angels and six-winged seraphim. Below is an image of the dead Christ flanked by the Virgin Mary and Saint John. Above the arch is the Blessing Christ after his ascent into heaven and two more angels who gaze down on the main scene. Together these images extol the role of the Madonna in the redemption of humankind. Spinello Aretino was a painter of devotional panels, altarpieces, and frescos. His most important commissions were painted in Arezzo, Lucca, Florence, Pisa, and Siena. His concern for space and the powerful outlines of his figures reflect a greater understanding of the principles developed by Giotto and his contemporaries, yet his keen sense of decoration reveals an equal awareness of Sienese painting.
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