Virgin and Child by AnonymousColonial Museum
This colonial painting, made by an anonymous author, depicts the Virgin Mary and his little son.
This particular iconography of the embrace between the "Virgin and her child" has its origins in the Virgin of the Chair (1513-1514), oil made by the Italian artist Rafael Sanzio (1483-1520), classified within the so-called "tondi", that were characterized by the circular shape of the work.
Raphael’s composition became popular thanks to the engraved copies. Especially stand out those made by Aegidius Sadeler II at the end of the 17th and during the next century.
But the engraved copies of Raphael oil are not identical to their referent, because in each new painting inspired by this composition, the painters introduced changes.
For example, the halo made of stars that surrounds the Virgin’s head is an addition made by the colonial painter.
The look of the clothing also changes, for while in the oil of the Italian painter the fabrics are ornamented with bright colors and visible geometric motifs, in the image of the colonial painter these features are simplified.
Another noteworthy detail is the elimination of the child figure of Saint John the Baptist that accompanies Mary and Jesus in the Italian composition.
The absence of the Baptist allows the painting to emphasize the filial relationship between the two characters of this oil on board.
Other details, such as the color, also allows to see the variations introduced by the colonial painter. The engraved sources, being mostly monochromatic copies, do not present color contrast or tonal variation.
In the case of this painting, the white of the veil and mantle of the Virgin and the white of the shirt of Child contrast with the green of the skirt and the red of Mary’s shirt.
Also, the dark background allows a bigger emphasize in the figure of the mother and her son.
The choice of a small vertical format could indicate a devotional use of the image. This hypothesis could be confirmed thanks to the indulgence situated at the back part of the oil. The calligraphy of this written allows to date the work in the 19th century.
María Constanza Toquica Clavijo
Manuel Amaya Quintero
Anamaría Torres Rodríguez
Diego López Aguirre
Tanit Barragán Montilla.
Andrea Valentina Bastidas Cano