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Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist and Angels

Cornelis van Cleve1520/1567

Chrysler Museum of Art

Chrysler Museum of Art
Norfolk, United States

Cornelis van Cleve’s painting focuses all attention on the Virgin and Child, highlighting them as holy icons. Seated at center, they preside over a balanced ensemble of graceful figures whose bowed heads, circling movements, and arm gestures direct our eyes back to the divine pair. Van Cleve pushed their solid, rounded bodies forward, further stressing their importance. Even the space they occupy is designed to pull us toward them. Ordered according to the Renaissance construct of one-point perspective, space recedes to a single vanishing point that converges on the central figures. Just follow the lines of the floor tiles into the distance (see image). Your eyes will always land on the Virgin’s tender face.

2014.3.4

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  • Title: Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist and Angels
  • Creator: Cornelis van Cleve
  • Date: 1520/1567
  • Provenance: Gift of the Irene Leache Memorial Foundation to the Chrysler Museum of Art, March 2014.
  • Physical Dimensions: 22 3/8 x 20 1/8 in. (56.8 x 51.1 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of the Irene Leache Memorial Foundation, in memory of Frances Rogers Curd
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on wood

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