Madonna and child on the grassy bank (1515) by Albrecht Durer

Madonna and child on the grassy bank - Albrecht Durer - 1515

Artwork Information

TitleMadonna and child on the grassy bank
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Madonna and child on the grassy bank

The artwork titled “Madonna and Child on the Grassy Bank” is a creation by the renowned artist Albrecht Dürer, dated to the year 1515. Epitomizing the Northern Renaissance art movement, this piece is characterized by its religious theme, capturing the sacred and enduring motif of the Madonna with her child. The work is representative of the period’s meticulous attention to detail and interest in both religious iconography and the natural world.

In the artwork, the Virgin Mary is depicted seated on a grassy bank, holding the Christ Child on her lap. Her gaze is directed downward at the infant, who appears lively and animated. The intimacy and tender interaction between mother and child are palpable, conveying a sense of maternal affection and divine grace. The figures are rendered with delicate lines, embodying the artist’s skillful draughtsmanship and ability to capture human emotion.

Behind the figures, Dürer has included various elements that enhance the composition, such as a hovering bird, possibly representing the Holy Spirit. Also notable are faint sketches of other subjects, such as a boat on the water and smaller bird studies, which add depth to the scene, showing the artist’s propensity to incorporate diverse aspects of the natural and spiritual realms into his works. These background details are not fully developed, suggesting that the primary focus of the drawing is the central interaction between Madonna and Child.

The style indicates a mastery of engraving, a technique that Dürer was acclaimed for, reflecting how he could convey detail and form through line work. Dürer’s contribution to the Northern Renaissance is evident through this complex blending of spiritual symbolism and observational drawing, capturing not only the tenderness of the religious narrative but also his deep appreciation for the natural world.

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