Fine article in the Financial Times by Rachel Spence about the current show at the Uffizi - Bagliori Dorati or "The Gleam of Gold":
There are artists who seduce and artists who stun. Gentile da Fabriano was of the latter camp. Commissioned in 1423 by the Florentine merchant and banker Palla Strozzi to create an altarpiece for his family chapel, the Umbrian-born painter saw it as a a golden opportunity to flaunt his talent as draftsman, storyteller and decorator extraordinaire.
Into one canvas, "The Adoration of the Magi", he crams a fairytale world of castles, mountains, gardens and exotic animals including a monkey perched on the back of a camel. Such melodrama would overwhelm the sacred story in the foreground did its characters not glitter in robes and halos of unbridled sumptuousness. A highlight of the Uffizi Gallery's permanent collection, "The Adoration" is one of the touchstones of International Gothic, the artistic style at the heart of this new exhibition.
Read the whole thing: Bagliori Dorati: International Gothic in Florence 1375-1440, Uffizi Galleries, Florence. There is more information here. Until November 4th.