Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Madonna of Loretto.


Dymphna said...

I love this. It looks like Mary just got Jesus out of the tub and has visitors.

Sid C said...

One of my favorites. The Virgin and Child appear to two pilgrim peasants at the Shrine of Loreto. When in Rome, go to Sant'Agostino to see it. Caravaggio, so well known for his extreme chiaroscuro, ought also be appreciated from his talent of combining the ugly into a larger scheme of the beautiful. For this painting, at the time, was sharply faulted for the peasants' dirty feet, stuck right into the face of the viewer, in sharp contrast to the beauty of the Mother of God. Add the crack in the stucco, and the man's rear end. Light and dark, beauty and the ugly joined with a powerful affect. Regrettably, it took the age of Robert Mapplethrope to bring back Caravaggio.

Note also how large Our Lord is, probably beyond needing carrying, yet still in His mother's arms. The light, from a source to the left of the edge, falls first on Him, then his mother, then the hand of blessing, then His feet, finally on the peasants.

The only fault: the Virgin's neck is too Mannerist. Our Lady's feet are unusually positioned, making her seem unballanced; yet rather than Mannerist, her feet might instead suggest that she is about to spin around to greet the peasants.

Mary Rose said...

sid c, I liked your comments. Caravaggio is one of my favorites. I think the humbleness of the peasants (dirt, clothing) are in a beautiful contrast with the Christ Child, who is pure and clean. The babe even seems to be smiling!

The light source wonderfully illuminates the mother and child. They almost seem to glow from within. The peasants are in the perfect position to receive such light.

CC - you simply rock for bringing us such treasures. :-)