Museums and Art

“Madonna and Child with an Angel”, Sandro Botticelli - description of the painting

“Madonna and Child with an Angel”, Sandro Botticelli - description of the painting

Madonna and Child with an Angel - Sandro Botticelli. 87 x 60 cm

The Madonna and Child is one of the most common (along with mythological themes) motifs by Sandro Botticelli. “Madonna and Child with an Angel” is a small picture made in the recognizable characteristic manner of the master on a wooden board with his favorite colors - tempera. Thanks to the special texture of the colorful surface, it is possible to obtain a surprisingly clear, even graphic image, while preserving the subtlety of halftones and the softness of the colors.

A composition with stepwise diagonal character placement gives this static group a little liveliness, which is most reflected in the figure of an angel. Supporting the weight of the infant Christ, he sits with his back to the viewer, but turns as if someone had called out outside the picture. He has a tender and youthful face, lush, reddish, curly hair and a spectacular airy outfit, all in complex folds, frills and layered details. An angelic rank is issued only by small, almost invisible wings behind his back, and a halo above his head in the form of a flat golden disk.

The opposite part of the picture, standing out for its larger size and rich colors of clothing, is occupied by the figure of the Virgin Mary. She is depicted in three quarters, almost in profile, amazes the audience with her pale, at the same time spiritualized and very sad face. With sadness, she looks at her lovely child, foreseeing his fate and cruel death on the cross for the sins of mankind.

Madonna is dressed in a red dress with split sleeves according to the then Italian fashion. From above it is covered with a voluminous black cloak or cape with a wide strip at the edge and a spectacular finish in the upper part. A strict smooth hairstyle is decorated with a small cap with soft folds covering the neck and falling to the same thin neck scarf. Madonna has very thin bent strings, curved in an arc, and light, reddish-colored hair. All this relates us to the fashion of Italy of the Renaissance, but not in Judea at the beginning of the 1st century AD. In those days, artists often tied their historical or mythological heroes in contemporary clothes for themselves.

The chubby baby Christ - a charming child, covered with a light folded fabric - reaches out to her mother. His divine essence betrays only a halo. Mother, sitting in a beautiful carved chair, as if takes him from the hands of an angel supporting him.

The picture is completed by one of the elements often used by the master - a large stone arch with columns supporting it in the background. Behind it there is no landscape, only a bottomless, blue sky.

The image has a special lyrical atmosphere, a touch of sadness and warm colors. The faces of the characters here are not just very expressive - they are recognizable, although they have personality. According to their features, we can accurately determine that we are faced with a painting that certainly belongs to the brush of the talented Sandro Botticelli.

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