The Madonna of the Magnificat (1481) by Sandro Botticelli

The Madonna of the Magnificat - Sandro Botticelli - 1480 - 1481

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Madonna of the Magnificat
ArtistSandro Botticelli
Date1480 - 1481
MediumTempera on Panel
Dimensions118 cm × 119 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationUffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

About The Madonna of the Magnificat

The artwork “The Madonna of the Magnificat” is a splendid example of early Renaissance art, created by the renowned painter Sandro Botticelli between 1480 and 1481. Executed using tempera on panel, it measures 118 cm by 119 cm and exhibits the religious genre that was prevalent during the time. The artwork is part of the prestigious collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

“The Madonna of the Magnificat” showcases the Virgin Mary at the center, crowned by two angels in an intimate and serene moment as she writes in a book, which is presumed to be the Magnificat. This is a passage from the Gospel of Luke, where Mary praises God following the Annunciation. The Madonna is elegantly draped in a deep blue robe lined with gold, her visage the embodiment of divine grace, her gaze downward in a reflective state. To her right, the Christ Child, depicted with a lively curiosity, appears to reach out, engaged by the world beyond, while with his left hand he holds a pomegranate, symbolizing suffering and resurrection.

Surrounding the central figures are angels, each with individualised expressions and poses, adding to the narrative and emotion of the scene. The angel on the left side of Mary bows its head in reverence and holds the crown above her head. The circle of faces embodies a celestial family, their interactions with one another and with the divine text adding to the painting’s rich storytelling. The background presents a serene landscape, a characteristic element of Renaissance painting that adds depth and context to the scene.

The remarkable detail and the golden embellishments on the clothing of the figures represent the luxuriousness typical of Botticelli’s works. The tondo format, a renaissance favorite for domestic devotional paintings, reinforces the intimacy and harmony within the artwork. The color palette is soft yet rich, showcasing Botticelli’s mastery in rendering both fine details and capturing the ethereal beauty of the divine.

In summary, “The Madonna of the Magnificat” stands as a testament to Botticelli’s artistic prowess within the early Renaissance, masterfully blending religious iconography with the earthly beauty that came to define the era’s art.

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