Antonello da Messina: Saint John The Evangelist & Madonna and Child Enthroned and Two Angels
It was a joy to discover these two paintings by Antonello da Messina today in the Uffizi. They are presumed to be two parts of a triptych or polyptych altarpiece. I was initially struck with the beauty and simplicity of the paintings, and then was pleasantly surprised by an intriguing detail held in John The Evangelist's left hand: a chalice emitting a dragon spirit - a quetzalcoatl winged serpent in fact.
The faces of the people figured have a lovely presence which is painted in a manner neither too simple nor too complex. In the sea of paintings which is the Uffizi, these stand out as especially satisfying.