During the second half of the 14th century, Florentine painting was dominated by the workshop of the brothers Andrea, Nardo and Jacopo di Cione. These artists reverted to archaic forms, with less emphasis than earlier in the century on the depiction of human emotion or naturalistic figures set in three-dimensional spaces.
Their style is characterised instead by elaborate surface decoration achieved by patterns of rich textiles and gilded and punched haloes. Jacopo di Cione, with the members of his workshop, painted the massive altarpiece for the church of San Pier Maggiore, seen here fragmented but almost complete. The central panel shows the Coronation of the Virgin, in which Christ crowns her the queen of heaven, a popular subject in Late Medieval and Renaissance Florence.
The influence of Byzantine icons, so important for Italian painters around 1300, persisted in Venice, which had trading links with the Eastern Mediterranean. Northern Italian painting in this period is represented in this room by works painted by Barnaba da Modena and Giusto de’ Menabuoi.