Essay about Domenic Ghirlandaio 's Madonna And Child Of 1470-75

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Domenic Ghirlandaio’s Madonna and Child of 1470-75 is a tempera half-length portrait that shared characteristics of paintings commonly displayed in Florentine homes. The painting depicts the Virgin Mary calmly glancing in a downward direction towards her young son, Jesus Christ, who is sitting on her right knee as he uses his head and arm to gesture in an outwards direction. While the Madonna and Child was a central icon in European history, Ghirlandaio’s portrayal nods to both the secular and humanistic forces of the Renaissance. The painting presents the subject matter in two distinct realms: the spiritual world and life on Earth. On one hand, the portrait is an object of prayer that encourages the viewer to possess a strong connection with God. However, Ghirlandaio also creates an image that highlights intimate familial relations and the similarities between biblical figures and the human condition. Ghirlandaio’s decisions whilst organizing both the broader aspects and finer details of his painting deify both the Madonna and her Child; however, some of the portrait’s smaller details highlight the common humanity between the divine figures and the viewer. Ghirlandaio’s purposeful composition and use of line asserts the Madonna and Child’s superior status compared to that of the viewer. From first glance, the viewer feels physically small before the subject matter because his or her vantage point rests at Mary 's knee; however, in reality, the viewer is also…

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