Madonna del parto (1467) by Piero della Francesca

Madonna del parto - Piero della Francesca - c.1460

Artwork Information

TitleMadonna del parto
ArtistPiero della Francesca
MediumFresco on Wall
Dimensions203 x 206 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationSanta Maria a Nomentana, Monterchi

About Madonna del parto

The artwork “Madonna del parto” by Piero della Francesca is a celebrated fresco dating back to circa 1460, located in Santa Maria a Nomentana, Monterchi. It is a significant example of Early Renaissance art, measuring 203 by 206 centimeters. Characterized by its religious genre, the artwork portrays a deeply spiritual theme with a composition that remains influential in the history of art.

The fresco depicts a poised and elegant Virgin Mary in the center, standing in a contrapposto pose, suggesting the influence of classical sculpture. Mary appears heavily pregnant, a rare depiction in art, signifying the work’s title, “Madonna del parto,” which translates to “Madonna of childbirth” or “Pregnant Madonna.” Her visage is calm and solemn, radiating an aura of anticipation and reflecting the sacred nature of her impending motherhood.

Flanking the Virgin Mary are two angels, each holding back the edges of an opulent tent, creating a symbolic space that sets Mary apart. The angels are rendered with a strong sense of individuality; their garments flow with naturalistic folds, and their wings display vivid colors and lifelike feather patterns. Each angel wears a halo, reinforcing their divine status, and they gaze towards the Virgin with respect and reverence.

The use of perspective and attention to detail in the drapery of the figures’ clothing displays the artist’s masterful understanding of light and form, which contributes to the solemn ambiance of the scene. These elements, combined with the delicate adornment of the tent and the serene expression of Mary, imbue the fresco with a profound sense of the sacred, making it a significant religious artwork from the Early Renaissance period.

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