Madonna in red (Madonna Durana) - Rogier van der Weyden. 100 x 52 cm
She is often called Madonna Duran in honor of the last owner of this painting, who transferred it to the Prado Museum. Perhaps this is the most unusual and memorable of all the works of Rogier van der Weyden.
She is very concise both in the plot - the young woman is sitting with the baby on her lap, and in the color palette - the artist uses only three main colors - black, red and white.
Thanks to the deep black background, overflows of warm fiery red shades of Madonna’s robes become brighter, delicate mother-of-pearl skin glows softly, and the baby’s red curls are golden. Gold embroidery on a scarlet bedspread glistens in the rays of light, the fabric of an intricately tied shawl and a children's shirt seems snow-white.
With her head bowed, the young mother admires the baby leafing through a large book on her lap. She gently holds it on her lap, holding it with an elegant hand with long fingers. Her look is gentle and sad, because she knows the fate of her son.
And the child with curiosity examines the book, with small fingers trying to turn the pages. However, his eyes look serious and focused, not at all childish.
They are located on a small protruding balcony of a small niche, the edges of which are framed by an arch decorated with a carved Gothic pattern, similar to wood carvings. But the edge of the balcony is very close, and the niche is so narrow that you feel fear for the Madonna and son.
Mother and child are so alone, despite the fact that a small angel hovers above their heads. The rays of light snatch out only his face from the darkness, and the magnificent crown of the Queen of Heaven, adorned with precious stones, gently shines in his hands. Light coffee folds of silk clothing, dark green, almost black, angel wings dissolve in the darkness.
The painter's choice of colors is not accidental - red symbolizes love, resurrection, and white emphasizes holiness and purity. The book in the hands of the Madonna is a sign of the divinity of the Word.
And, of course, the details brilliantly painted by the master: a thin ring on a finger, small folds on a scarf, a silver clasp of a book, a patterned edge of a lower skirt.
The picture is filled with tenderness, but looking at these faces, so alive and real, you feel the tragedy and inevitability of the future.