Virgin Suckling the Child (1503) by Albrecht Durer

Virgin Suckling the Child - Albrecht Durer - 1503

Artwork Information

TitleVirgin Suckling the Child
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

About Virgin Suckling the Child

“Virgin Suckling the Child,” created by Albrecht Dürer in 1503, is a religious painting executed in oil on panel. It exemplifies the Northern Renaissance art movement and currently resides at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

The artwork depicts the Virgin Mary in a three-quarter view, tenderly looking down at the Christ Child, who is nursing. Mary is cloaked in a light, translucent veil with soft folds that drape over her head and shoulders, suggesting modesty and reverence. Her expression is serene and contemplative, a common feature in religious depictions of the era, which aimed to convey a sense of piety and divine connection. The Child is rendered with a naturalistic softness, embodying innocence and serenity. His hair is depicted with fine, curling strands that offer a delicate contrast to the smooth textures of the skin.

The palette is gentle and harmonious, dominated by the warm hues of Mary’s peach-toned garments and the creamy white of her veil, offset by the muted background and the yellow of the Child’s clothing. The detailed rendering of the figures and Dürer’s skillful handling of oil paint mark this piece as a fine example of Northern Renaissance artistry, with its attention to detail, texture, and subtle emotional expression.

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