was one of the first distinctive Venetian painters. Situated on the
main sea trade routes to Africa and the East, Venice was deeply
inspired by the art and culture of the Middle East and Greece and
the churches and palaces of Constantinople. Constantinople's
Byzantine mosaics, with their brightly colored glass and golden
backgrounds, informed his paintings, many of which were altarpieces.
Unlike the clear-cut forms of the school of Tuscany, Paolo's Venetian
works are rich, luxurious webs of colors and lines.
Paolo belonged to a
family of painters, operated a large workshop, and collaborated
closely with his sons. Like many artists of his time, his paintings
range from works completely by his own hand to those produced by the
workshop; such distinctions were not recognized as important by the
artists' patrons. One of the most sought-after panel painters of
fourteenth-century Italy, Paolo influenced nearly all the younger
Venetian painters of his day.
The image that accompanies
this article, is one of the panels from Veneziano's Alterpiece, completed
in 1345 (see images, below).