The polyptych, made by Giotto and his workshop probably in Florence, is one of the three works signed by the artist: the signature in golden letters is visible on the step of the throne.

The painting was originally intended for the altar of the Magna Chapel in the Apostolic Palace, built in Bologna, near the current Porta Galliera, to host the Pope returning from Avignon, and destroyed shortly after.

It is a masterpiece of refinement and Giotto, undisputed protagonist of fourteenth-century Italian art, shows, together with his collaborators, all his talent in the rendering of details, in the elegance of the ornaments and in the play of alternating colours, creating a work destined to honour the Pope's authority and profoundly influencing Bologna’s artistic life.

The saints, identified by the inscriptions below, occupy the individual panels. At the centre the Virgin, imposing and massive, is seated on a throne of light marbles structured to suggest the idea of ​​a spatial depth. With her is the Child, who seeks her attention by stroking her chin, clinging to her neck and kicking his little feet.

In the pinnacle above the throne, God the father is depicted holding the starred globe and keys.

On the left are Archangel Gabriel, depicted in profile, and St. Peter, with the keys and the pastoral staff. On the right is Michael, the red-winged warrior Archangel who fights the demon, represented as a monstrous figure with several heads; then St. Paul, with the book and sword.

At the bottom, from the perfectly circular oculi of the predella, the characters appear side by side with the Christ of the Passion positioned in the centre: from the left, St. John the Baptist, the Madonna, St. John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalen.