Charity and arts

Madonna Meadow, Giovanni (Giambellino) Bellini

Description of the picture:

Madonna Meadow – Giovanni (Giambellino) Bellini. Around 1500. Wood, tempera. 67.3×86.4

Giovanni Bellini – Italian painter, leading master of the Venetian school of the Early Renaissance, the largest representative of a whole dynasty of artists.

Madonna and Child depicted so often and with so many options – in the interior, on a landscape background, surrounded by many saints, donors and other “clarifying” details, that it became necessary to indicate some feature characteristic of it in the name of the picture. So, this image of the Mother of God with the Baby gained fame as “Madonna Meadow” or “Madonna in the Meadow” (compare with Leonard’s “Madonna in the Rocks”). It is a carefully designed landscape with many elements – human activity, architectural motif, wonderful transmission of air and lighting – that makes this image unique.

Key figures also bear the seal of the hand of the master. Madonna prays over the Baby sleeping on her lap. His posture is very natural and at the same time symbolic: the composition of the two figures cannot but conjure up the image of the future mourning of Christ – the same lonely Virgin Mary with the dead Christ lying on Her knees. This allusion, of course, is deliberate, but it is “woven” into the picture extremely artistically and passes in the mind of the viewer with an accompanying “motive” to the main plot of the work. Many seemingly random, everyday details must also be interpreted (traditionally for old masters). So, to the left of the Madonna in the background is a swamp bird, possibly a crane, it preys on snakes. This is probably the personification of the struggle between Good and Evil."

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