Madonna and Child with Saints, Giovanni Bellini, 1505

Description of the picture:

Madonna and Child with Saints – Giovanni Bellini. 1505
Bellini’s large altar for the chapel in the north wing of the San Zaccaria church in Venice was made in 1505. A similar composition is the Holy Virgin with the Baby on her knees and saints, usually 4 or 6, on either side of it, popular as Holy interview, – makes a more cozy, cordial atmosphere than the festive theme of the Maesta, and took advantage of the success of the Venetian Renaissance painters.

The painting shows the Holy Virgin, flooded with golden radiance, sitting with the Baby in her arms on a dais, in the depths of the highest exedra. Neither the Holy Virgin nor the Infant look at the viewer, lost in thought, the raised hand of the Infant resembles a gesture of blessing. The heads of St. Peter and St. Jerome is slightly inclined, and his gaze is thoughtful. Two saints – Catherine of Alexandria (her wheel is barely visible to the left of the throne) and Lucia – are also lost in thought. Only the gaze of a musician angel, looking into the distance, invites the viewer to join the scene of calm contemplation.

IMAGES OF THE HOLY VIRGIN. The hypostasis of the Virgin Mary as the mother of Christ is the main doctrine of the church, in her image motherhood is often emphasized. As the genealogical tree of Christ, the leading beginning from Jesse, shows, his kinship with the father of David takes place along the line of the Holy Virgin, and not Joseph. The image of the mother is most pronounced in the scenes when the Holy Virgin breastfeeds the Infant Christ; the artists wrote this story right before the Council of Trent (1545-1563), when disapproval was expressed to depict the Holy Virgin naked. In the Renaissance, the Holy Virgin was often portrayed in the home interior or against the background of a realistic landscape; sometimes she was dressed in fashionable clothes since then."

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