Virgin and Child (c.1545) by Titian

Virgin and Child - Titian - c.1545

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Artwork Information

TitleVirgin and Child
Dimensions38 x 31 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationThyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain

About Virgin and Child

The artwork titled “Virgin and Child” is a religious painting by the artist Titian, created around 1545. Crafted using oil on panel, this piece is an exemplary work of the Mannerism movement, which succeeded the High Renaissance. It is modest in size, measuring 38 by 31 centimeters, and is currently housed in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, Spain.

The artwork presents a tender and intimate portrayal of the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. The Virgin, cloaked in a richly hued red garment with a deep blue mantle, cradles the child Jesus with a gentle embrace. Both figures are rendered with a softness and warmth that suggest a deep, maternal bond. Mary’s gaze is directed downward towards her child, reinforcing the moment’s emotional gravity and intimacy.

The figures are set against a dark, draped background that enhances the sense of closeness between mother and child. The artist’s use of chiaroscuro—contrasting light and dark—enriches the composition with dramatic depth. The colors employed by Titian are vivid, particularly in the garments, which exhibit a sumptuous texture and reflective quality indicative of his mastery in manipulating oil paint.

The representation of the figures demonstrates the stylistic characteristics of Mannerism, such as the elegant, elongated forms and the poetic, rather than strictly realistic, approach to subject matter. The inclusion of Titian’s name on a plaque at the lower edge of the composition provides a clear attribution, anchoring the work within his distinguished body of religious art. Overall, the “Virgin and Child” captures a moment of serene and sacred affection, embodying the spiritual ideals and artistic innovation of its time.

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