Madonna enthroned with saints, c.1562
Oil on canvas,133.46 x 75.2 inches [339 x 191 cm]
Gallerie dell"Accademia, Venice
Paolo Veronese left his native Verona in 1553 to settle in Venice where he came under the influence of the Venetian figurative tradition and then Mannerism, in particular of Parmigianino and Giulio Romano. The rich and complex arrangement of his compositions is matched by a brilliant use of colour, characterized by the juxtaposition of complementary colours and a vibrant solar light. The Madonna enthroned with saints was painted for the Sacristy of S. Zaccaria (restored in 1562) is a fine example of the early works of Veronese with its harmonious richness of colour.
The young John the Baptist stands at the meeting point of the two compositional diagonals formed by the figures of St. Joseph, St. Francis and St. Jerome, who are invested with a look of detached spirituality. Veronese made the colour vibrant by a continual juxtaposition of light and dark tones. Through an understanding of the interaction of colour every hue is intensified and enriched. The diapason of Veronesian colour is achieved in the portrayal of the Virgin and child set against the damask of the niche.