The Kahn and Mellon Madonnas are among the most intriguing and controversial works in the National Gallery of Art (Washington DC). Their place in the history of medieval painting has been a matter of discussion for decades. Scholars have invoked Byzantine, Italian, and Crusader contexts to explain their idiosyncratic features and their challenging iconographies. Although they have usually been considered as a common topic of discussion, it is reasonable to assume that the Kahn Madonna had its own distinctive trajectory from the beginning. It allows us to re-examine issues such as the original place of production, its patronage and possible place of production, its patronage and possible early movement in Spain as portable object as well as the circumstances of its purchase in the 20th century. As result, it is very likely that the Kahn Madonna was produced in Constantinople by a Byzantine artist during the rule of emperor Michael VIII in the context of the Union of the Churches (1272-1282) and arrived in Calahorra as part of a diplomatic gift together with a Byzantine epitrachelion.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2020|