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Madonna Enthroned by Cima da Conegliano

In Conegliano Cathedral, the precious sign of a master of the Italian Renaissance.

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Where is


Via XX Settembre, 44, 31015 Conegliano TV, Italia (70m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

The artist who gave Conegliano worldwide fame is Giovanni Battista Cima, active between the 16th and 17th centuries in the Venetian sphere under the influence of Giovanni Bellini. His works are in the world's major museums: from the Gallerie dell'Accademia, in Venice, to the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence; from the National Gallery in London to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Only one, but most notable, remains in his hometown: the Madonna Enthroned with Child among Angels and Saints, dated 1492, at the high altar of the Duomo.

Why it is special

Cima's altarpiece is a composition with as many as ten figures against the background of an architecture of classical forms. The Madonna is wrapped in the ample robes of traditional red and blue colors; with her left hand she supports the Child, seated on her lap, who caresses her hand. On the left: St. John the Baptist and St. Catherine of Alexandria, with St. Nicholas of Bari in the background. On the right: St. Apollonia and St. Peter, with St. Francis behind them. At the foot of the throne, two musician angels.

Not to be missed

In the street behind the cathedral, it is interesting to visit the house that was once Cima da Conegliano's: it is a two-story building plus the attic mezzanine, an interesting example of an old craftsman's dwelling, now used as a museum, with reproductions of the artist's works preserved elsewhere, and the home of the foundation. Among the curiosities are some graffiti and inscriptions that emerged during restoration, likely by the painter himself.

A bit of history

The altarpiece was commissioned from Cima in the late 15th century by Francesco Codroipo and Giovanni della Pasqualina, members of the local Confraternita dei Battuti, which derived its name from the penitential choice, at least originally, to self-flagellate. It was indeed an organization of laymen devoted to Our Lady, engaged in supporting the Church and caring for the poor and sick, hence its important role in the establishment of the first public hospitals and also in the history of sacred art.


Speaking of the cathedral, also noteworthy is the bell tower, dating back to 1497, with a passage carved into the base to reach the Sala dei Battuti, the meeting place of the confraternity so important in the church's history. The sound that spreads over the city from above is that of three large bells relocated after the Great War: in memory of this sad interlude each bears the inscription "Enemy fury broke me, but from enemy bronze I rose to sing in clear voice Italy and God."

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Francesco Soletti

There are paintings that represent a place and its best age. And this Madonna says everything about her city.


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