The real title of this work is The celebrated Madonna of Cimabue carried in procession through Florence. And it is a large canvas (237 x 521 cm) painted in oil by the English artist Frederic Leighton between the years 1853 and 1855.
This is a work that is very popular with the Victorian era in England. And it even so happens that when the painting was exhibited it was Queen Victoria herself who acquired it, which is why it became part of the royal collection and from there, to the National Gallery in London where it is currently kept.
Leighton's Cimabue Madonna Procession
As we said Leighton (1830 – 1896) is a typical product of the Victorian era. A time when this type of works of an ancient nature was very popular, in which either mythological themes or Italianate scenes abounded. It should not be forgotten that within this time the movement of the Pre-Rafelites also arose in England, with whom Leighton has once been linked.
Although, Leighton also worked on the aspect of oriental airs so popular at the time, and hence some works in which all these influences merge, such as his painting Burning Sun of June.
However, this artist, whohe was also Lord, he is more academic. And the truth is that his passion for classical art led him to travel toItaly, as well asFrance. But she used that training to achieve a very personal invoice and style, and that over time earned her to be a member of theRoyal Academy, where she even reached the presidency of that institution
But returning to the work that concerns us here, the imprint of Italian art is unquestionable, and some of its artists dedicated their works like this one in which it evokes the Virgin in Majesty of the master Cimabue , and another canvas in which he pays homage to one of his most admired artists: The Death of Brunelleschi.
In the painting of the Florentine procession, it not only recalls Cimabue, but also other great masters of the Trecento and early Quattrocentosuch as the writer Dante Alighieri, the sculptor Nicola Pisano, the architect and sculptor Arnolfo di Cambioor the also painter and architect Giotto.
It was a work that he actually painted during his stay in the city ofFlorence, where he studied at the Academy of Arts. A vital period in his training, although later he also spent a season in Paris where he met and got to know painters of various generations such as Dominique Ingrés,Eugene Delacroix, Camille Corot or Jean François Millet.