The artist, born and trained in Padua, reveals his Northern Italian origin in his intensely linear style, focused in particular on the decorative qualities of God’s curling hair and beard. This circular panel, or tondo, was part of a larger multi-panel work, and was most likely placed above an Annunciation, the scene representing the Virgin at the moment the angel Gabriel announces that she will conceive. Here, God the Father releases the dove of the Holy Spirit, often depicted above Annunciations. The panel shows the characteristic fifteenth-century tension between the traditional flat gold ground, against which figures are compressed, and the three-dimensional space suggested by the flying dove, which is rendered in perfect perspective.
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Giovanni Francesco da Rimini (Italian, School of Romagna, active Padua, Florence, Bologna, documented 1441-1470). God the Father with Four Angels and the Dove of the Holy Spirit, ca. 1460. Tempera and gold on panel, 18 1/4 in. (46.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mary Babbott Ladd, Lydia Babbott Stokes, and Frank L. Babbott, Jr. in memory of their father Frank L. Babbott, 34.835
Gift of Mary Babbott Ladd, Lydia Babbott Stokes, and Frank L. Babbott, Jr. in memory of their father Frank L. Babbott