Spanish painting

"Madonna and Child in Front of the Landscape", Juan Flandes - description of the painting

  • Author: Juan Flandes
  • Museum: Private collection
  • Year: 1510
  • Click image for larger version

Description of the picture:

Madonna and Child in Front of the Landscape - Juan Flandes. 1510.

The Renaissance has made its demands on the image of religious heroes. This is especially noticeable in the paintings dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus. In fact, the Renaissance created its canons of this biblical story. Almost every famous creator of the era had a hand in the formation of these canons, including the Spanish painter, the protege of Isabella of Castile, Juan Flandes.
The images of Christ with Mary had previously been as close as possible to the icon, without a lively background, without perspective, with spiritualized and sad face-masks. What do we see in Flandes (which was characteristic of the era as a whole)?
The faces of the characters acquired human traits. We are like concrete people. Flandes never embellished his portraits and here we see that the faces of Mary and Jesus are not perfect, but very real. Bruises of fatigue lay under Mary’s eyes, her forehead was very open in the then fashion (aristocrats even purposely shaved him to give a person visual lengthening), but Jesus is incredibly similar to a real newborn, only eyes that are intelligent and wise are not for years.
The author places his heroes against the background of the landscape - thick trees, sky, black clouds, as forerunners of the difficult fate of the baby. Such a comparison of the biblical and landscape, the world of the spiritual and the world of the present, should have emphasized the interconnection of these hypostases.

Other paintings by Juan Flandes

Appearance of Christ to Mary
Portrait of a girl
Resurrection of Lazarus
Herodias. Revenge
Saints Michael and Francis

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