The almost as if he already has lived

Topics: ArtSymbolism


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Last updated: May 27, 2019

The Madonna and Child is a primary icon during the Renaissance that made a huge impact on the religious way of life during the fourteenth to the eighteenth century.

Devotions to Mary in both roles as a mother of Jesus and as a divine female was very popular during this time, thus creating a huge demand for this topic of art. The term Madonna is Italian for “my lady,” and is considered a respectable term for someone in high rank. This also is synonymous with the mother of the holy child and also with the physical representation or manifestation of the two. It considers the early history of these images, beginning with icons that came to Italy from the Byzantine East, and examines those created in Venice and Florence through the early decades of the sixteenth century. Similarities and differences excised to make the art unique and affect the peoples of the Renaissance’s ideology by having an impact on their social-religious values.

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In all Renaissance picture of the Madonna and Child, there is a lot of similarities between The Madonna of the Pisa Polyptych, The Sistine Madonna, and Brera Madonna. As the Madonna and Child paintings relied on iconology and symbolism, there was sometimes a simple representation or one you have to look closely at. In all three pieces of artwork, Mary is in a royal blue robe. Blue is the symbol of power and royalty, this describes how divine she is and her son, Jesus, is. During the Renaissance, the artists, Masaccio, Raphael, and Francesca truly wanted to have created a sense of realism in their artwork. In all paintings, Jesus looks out to the viewer with knowing eyes.

This makes him seem much older and wiser, almost as if he already has lived a thousand lifetimes. In all three painting, Mary and Jesus are surrounded by adoring saints. By using symbols the artist of this painting was able to convey more without making his painting more complicated.Despite how old or how popular of a subject the Madonna and Child is, artists manage to show a great deal of variety and originality over the years.The three paintings by Masaccio, Raphael, and Francesca, are original in their own ways but mean all the same to convey the same meaning. In The Madonna of the Pisa Polyptych and the Brera Madonna, both are painted where Mary is sitting.

These artists focus on the saints, angels, and even dukes surrounding the Child, kneeling and showing the viewer how truly divine He is. This is represented as a “Sacra conversazione,” or a meaning holy/sacred conversation. However, in Raphael’s image, The Sistine Madonna, Mary is standing. Raphael in this image is representing the saint pointing to the future of sin, and what Jesus and Mary will both have to face, his Crucifixion. In the Sistine Madonna, the Madonna and Child, are floating on clouds, opposed to the other two images by Masaccio and Francesca where they are inside a church. Even though these artworks are dramatically different, they all explain the holiness of Madonna and Child, and the significance of their presence.These three paintings do not give a complete history to the topic of Madonna and Child artwork, but they do give a summary of the history through the Renaissance age. The artists believed that there was beauty in realism, since it is an attribute of God.

It is a good thing for the artists of the time to strive for. Renaissance artists, like Masaccio, Raphael, and Francesca, they believed that beauty did not deny realism of the contemplated events of humanities religious outtakes on God. A renewed interest in the natural world from the 15th century onward led artists to explore the holy aspect of life. Themes, like the Holy Family, the Madonna and Child surrounded by saints, and heavenly visions, were widely discussed.

These paintings lead to wars about religion and the hope of believing in God, this includes the Reformations. After learning these history viewers can better understand the Madonna and Child paintings they see today and possibly what the artist had in mind when he was designing the artwork.These paintings explore the ways images of Madonna and Child, how they functioned in public and private devotions and how icons were transformed into more meaningful kind of devotional object during the Renaissance. Over the centuries different themes and tools emerged, but always with the Madonna and Child as the focal point of the art. Though the artists depicted their own ideas and beliefs on the art, their similarities and differences will all affect the history of the Renaissance.

As more art was created in the Renaissance the more significant religion became and now freedoms are in place to preserve your own beliefs.

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