Isis Davis-Marks | Smithsonian.com | 23rd July 2021
In 1345, Venice was rich, powerful, cosmopolitan. It could afford the best art and, for that, there was Paolo Veneziano. His speciality was lavish devotional altarpieces. These were mostly disassembled and sold off, but Getty has reunited some of these “masterpieces”. They show Byzantine as well as Italian influences, an inspiration to later Renaissance artists. Sadly, a focus on the devotional was prescient. The Black Death arrived in 1348, killing 60% of Venetians.