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Madonna and the Reading Child

Francesco da Sangalloc. 1546

Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Compositionally, Sangallo’s treatment of the Madonna and Child theme is strikingly novel. The figure of the Virgin Mary seated in repose, which recalls motifs in Michelangelo’s works, sharply contrasts with the almost three-dimensional figure of the infant Jesus. The sculptor succeeds in using their gestures, and the lines of fabric folds, to bond these two figures of different size with palpable tautness. Yet in so doing, he departs from traditional compositional approaches in which the Madonna is generally seen giving intense emotional attention to her child. There are unusual details too, such as the small sections formed by the folds of the fabric. Clearly the artist was seeking out formal difficulties, in order to display his virtuoso skills in overcoming them.

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  • Title: Madonna and the Reading Child
  • Creator: Francesco da Sangallo
  • Date Created: c. 1546
  • Location: Florence
  • Physical Dimensions: w98.5 cm x h84 cm
  • Type: Relief
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Object acquired: 1828
  • Inv.-No.: 288
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815614
  • External link: Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Prestel Verlag / Volker Krahn, Photo: © bpk-Bildagentur / Antje Voigt
  • Collection: Skulpturensammlung | Bode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Artist dates: 1494/96
  • Artist Place of Death: Florence
  • Artist Nationality: Italy
  • Artist Gender: male
  • Artist BIrthplace: Florence

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