Vitale da Bologna
Medieval Master of Madonnas
Vitale da Bologna, or Vitale d’Aimò de’ Cavalli, (c. 1309–1361) was the star painter of the Bolognese trecento. His delicate, decorative art was influenced by the International Gothic of Siena, but he was also capable of startling spatial orientation and drama, as in the St George Killing the Dragon and Sant' Antonio Abate altarpiece in the Pinacoteca Nazionale. Yet amid the all the gilt, his Madonnas stand out: no one at the time portrayed the young Virgin Mary with such tender, vulnerable sweetness, and pre-Botticelli wistful expressions.