Essay Art11 Compare and Contrast Essy

1490 Words Nov 14th, 2008 6 Pages
Compare and Contrast
Duccio, Madonna and Child - Gauguin, La Orana Maria

Madonna and Child is a panel painting by Italian medieval artist Duccio di Buoninsegna. Painted in tempera and gilded on a wood panel in around the year 1300, the Madonna and Child is still in its original engaged frame. The fact that it was in private hands and out of public circulation for years might be why the painting is basically intact after 700 years. The craftsmanship and preservation are simply amazing. The damaged lower edge of the frame is charred where devotional candles may have tipped over. The Madonna and Child is presently part of a special exhibition "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions" in
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Though they can be compared having the same theme, the dissimilarities of the artist’s styles can very easily be distinguished.

Byzantine notion of painting was a symbolic image of a divine being. In contrast, Duccio gave a sense of human interaction between the Madonna and child and gave you the feeling that they existed in real time. She is standing at what appears to be a parapet or balcony. You see a child lifting his mother’s veil to get a glimpse of her face using his thumb to hold up the fabric. Both the mother and child have a very melancholy look on their faces. The child is looking into her face yet she does not appear to be gazing directly at the child. The peach fabric framing her face gives the appearance of a peach shadow in their faces: it appears to add a blush in their cheeks. She is supporting his weight tenderly in the crook of her left arm. Though you know he is supposed to be a baby, the baby’s features resemble a miniature adult. He appears to be sitting up on his own. His chubby foot is resting on her wrist. Her fingers are stylized and seem to be stretched. Both Mother and child have the religiously symbolic flat halo framing their heads. The halo is usually a privileged attribute of the sainted and spiritually holy. The circular halos, which are patterned with spirals and what appear to be quatrefoils, which are a symbol of the four Evangelists —

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