“Madonna and Child”, Sandro Botticelli – description of the painting

Unlike most of his paintings, which are characterized by a rich, but somewhat muted, delicate and delicate color scheme, this one is characterized by incredibly saturated prevailing blue tones. Spectacular architectural forms in the background in the form of a wide rounded arch with an opening are painted in white and slightly turquoise shade of blue. A more saturated color has the cloak of the Virgin. He creates a kind of lower frame of the canvas, while the arch becomes the frame of the most delicate family portrait.
Among the many paintings created by Sandro Botticelli on a classic biblical theme, the most canvases depicting the Madonna with baby Jesus in her arms. This topic is extremely popular in art and allowed to reveal his talent to many famous artists. But this picture stands somewhat apart from all the images of the biblical scene by Botticelli.

You should start with an unusual coloring of the canvas.

Description of the picture:

Madonna and Child – Sandro Botticelli. Around 1467. Panel, tempera. Fifty one x seventy one cm

In this picture, not only the intense blue color is amazing. Madonna’s face is very delicate, porcelain-pale, with beautiful but slightly irregular facial features. It creates a distinct impression that it was written from nature and reflects the look of a real woman – there is no stylization of the image characteristic of recognizable faces of the characters in Botticelli’s paintings.

The blond Madonna attracts attention not only with porcelain, delicate skin, but also with an unusual hairstyle, decorated with rich trim and frills of light fabric, as on a cap. A light veil falls on the woman’s shoulders, transparent, airy and barely noticeable. Dressed Madonna in a red bottom dress with many pleats and assemblies. Here the artist did not depart one canon from the canons – according to church rules the Mother of God is always depicted in clothes combining red and blue shades. Baby Christ is dressed in a snow-white toga, wrapped around his chubby tender calf.

In the background you can see the landscape, as if framed by the outlines of a powerful arch. It is quite traditional for paintings of this period. The landscape depicts a rather tall, lonely tree on the edge of a cliff and a fantastic castle with thin towers stretching upwards with very long spiers. The landscape was executed in a very restrained and noble muted color scheme, including green and brown shades. Due to the modest choice of tones, this image does not compete with the intense colors of the foregrounds, especially with the blue tunic of Our Lady.

But of particular interest is the interpretation of the image of the Madonna and infant Christ. In most of the paintings on this subject, both characters have rigid static poses, and the child looks unnaturally, like a miniature copy of an adult. In the same picture, before us is a young, lovely mother playing with her baby, who lovingly holds out chubby little hands to her. A touching gesture – the hand of Madonna gently touching the baby’s chubby cheek – makes this picture very lively, natural and extremely impressive.