Notes on Madonna and Child

"Madonna and Child," a tempera on panel piece from about 1215, utilizes rich, deep tones and smooth brush strokes to convey the reflective nature of this piece. Mother and child are shown both looking down, which leads one to believe that they are in deep reflection. The overall tone of the painting is rather somber, as expressed by the deep colors and shadowed effect on the subject of the piece. The composition is traditional portrait style, with a naturalistic approach to the subjects in a plain, centered orientation. This allows for the focus to lie on subject and child, which can be inferred to be "Madonna and Child". The background of the painting shows a supposed view of a country road through the window, which adds a simplistic and calming feel to the painting. It can be inferred that the painter wished to portray the deep reflection Madonna and Child are enduring. This is done through the composition as a whole, but specifically, the physical positioning of mother and child, the deep tones and color palette chosen, and the stance and direction of the subjects' glance.
The focal point of this piece lies in the mother's grip of the child. By the manner in which she embraces the child, it is apparent that she is in deep reflection. The fact that they are looking downward is also significant, as that provides a saddened connotation for their thoughts. This also permits the piece to maintain its sentimental feel, which is empathized by the viewer. It is profoundly remarkable that the described sentimental, reflective disposition of the piece could be empathized by the viewer, and that positions the artist as doing his job successfully. Inherently, the viewer feels that there is some source of conflict to the right hand side of the subject and her child, as neither subject is engaged at the painter painting their portrait, but something off to the side of the portrait's frame. The deep tones and…


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