Madonna of the Goldfinch: An Analysis of the Painting Essay

Published: 2021-06-29 01:54:49
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Category: Art

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All of the figures in the scene stand on grassy green hillocks, set against a rich background Of gold. The painting is composed in such a way that the viewer’s eye is drawn consistently to the scroll being presented to the three shepherds. The sheer size of the angel presenting the scroll, almost twice that of the other human figures in the painting, serves not only to emphasis his importance, but also to draw the viewers eye towards the main exchange occurring near the top of the page.
The angel’s left wing and right hand place further emphasis on the importance of the scroll, as do the right hands of each hyper, all of which are pointing towards the scroll, The sloping nature of the green hillock, which runs roughly parallel to the direction of the scroll, once again draws the viewers eye upwards.
A frame of green encloses a frame of gold, which in turn encloses a border tot blue dots all around the image, emphasizing its importance, The significant amount of negative space around the image not only provides a nice sense of balance, but also speaks to the wealth of the patron funding this work, as they obviously could afford to leave large areas of expensive material unpainted. A small amount of Latin text appears above he image, presumably denoting the subject of the painting, along faith a page number in the top right hand corner.
The painting makes use of particularly rich colors; the opulent blues in particular, on the robes of the angel and the oldest shepherd and the dotted border, along with the very rich golden background, provide the painting With a sense Of importance and grandeur, once again suggesting that the patron is very wealthy. The use of red in the angel’s halo and the shepherds’ clothes provides a nice sense Of contrast With the use Of blue. The unusual use of black and blue on the goats makes them particularly interesting.
The piece is obviously part of a manuscript, as suggested by the writing and page number, and is therefore presumably painted on vellum. The colluded inks would have been created through a variety of techniques and using a variety of materials, for example cochineal, verdigris and lapis lazuli. The piece is rendered in an early Gothic style, evidenced particularly in the size of the figures (the angel, considered to be the most important is almost twice the size of the others) and in the very strange pointed folds in the bottom of clothing, which is particularly indicative of this style.

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