Cimabue's Celebrated Madonna Frederic Leighton Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Cimabue's Celebrated Madonna is one of the most complex compositions created by Sir Frederic Leighton and it can now be found within the world-famous collection of the National Gallery in London, UK.

It will be of no surprise that this artwork took considerable preparation. The sheer number of detailed figures that are included across the breadth of this huge canvas ensures that accuracy and a careful planning of the composition were essential to its eventual success. Many study sketches for this piece have since been uncovered. The artwork stretches to over five metres wide.

Despite being found at the National Gallery for the foreseeable future, it is actually a part of the Royal Collection. They are generous with loaning out items from their large collection of art, particularly when exchanging amongst other UK institutions or elsewhere within the Commonwealth.

This unique artwork depicts a who's who of artists from the 13th century, making it far from simply a procession of individuals. Research has been carried out to identify these people, and we can confidently pick out Giotto, Cimabue and also poet Dante Alighieri. There were also several other Italian Renaissance painters to be found in this composition, though they were from very much the early period of the Renaissance where this groundbreaking movement was just starting to show the early buds of growth before the other great names arrived.