Madonna and Child (Haller Madonna) (1498) by Albrecht Durer

Madonna and Child (Haller Madonna) - Albrecht Durer - 1498

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Artwork Information

TitleMadonna and Child (Haller Madonna)
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Dimensions40 x 50 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Madonna and Child (Haller Madonna)

The artwork “Madonna and Child,” also known as the “Haller Madonna,” was created by Albrecht Dürer in 1498. This Northern Renaissance oil painting on panel measures 40 x 50 cm and embodies a religious genre. The painting is currently housed at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain.

Describing the painting, we see a representation of the Virgin Mary, cloaked in a deep blue garment with a green underlay, holding the Christ Child, who is depicted nude save for the drapery upon which he sits. The Madonna’s gaze is serene yet distant, reflective of the iconic representation often found in religious artwork of this period. Her somber expression may convey a sense of the future sorrow she is to endure, which is in contrast with the innocence of the Child’s demeanor.

The composition is staged with an interior setting, featuring a draped red fabric in the background to the left, which contrasts vividly with the rich blue of Mary’s cloak and creates a sense of depth and nobility. To the right, a detailed landscape can be seen through a window, indicating Dürer’s attention to creating a sense of space and his engagement with the burgeoning interest in naturalism during the Renaissance. The inclusion of architecture and nature in the background provides both a sense of place and further depth to the scene.

One can also notice the fine details in the symbols and motifs, like the coat of arms at the bottom of the panel, which, along with Dürer’s signature monogram, helps to authenticate and date the work. The textures, from the garment’s folds to the translucent quality of the window, are meticulously rendered, showcasing Dürer’s mastery and his capacity to imbue the sacred subjects with a human touch.

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