Hi everyone! This week I wanted to talk about a painting by one of the greatest artists, in my opinion. His name is Alessandro Filipepi Botticelli. This week I wanted to talk about his painting called the Madonna and Child with Adoring Angel created in 1468, and it is currently in the Norton Simon Art Foundation.
This painting was created with egg tempera on panel. This painting is a little different from Botticelli’s other works because the color is not as vibrant; however, he seems to be experimenting with the color purple that is on Christ, which I don’t think is commonly seen in his artworks. Also, Mary is wearing what she usually wears in Botticelli’s artworks, which is a blue cloak and red dress. The focal point of this painting seems to be Mary and baby Jesus. Mary is holding onto Christ who is looking up into the Heavens. On the left of the painting is an angel, who seems to be praying. Because Christ and the angel are staring up into the sky, it is possible that Botticelli is suggesting there is something there that we are not seeing in his painting.
The year of this painting suggests that Botticelli had not yet met his muse, Simonetta Vespucci. When looking at some of Botticelli’s paintings, it is a clear to see that the primary female figure has similar features in each painting. For instance, look at Primavera, the Birth of Venus, and Madonna the Magnificent; all of the primary woman figures look very similar — young, rosy face, with red/gold hair. Also, it was not until 1469 that Simonetta met Marco Vespucci. Then she married him and moved to Florence. There the family become friends with the Medici, which led to the meeting of Simonetta and Botticelli. Therefore, the model of Mary here is most likely not influenced by Simonetta, but instead by Filippo Lippi, Botticelli’s teacher.
Enjoy the New Year everyone!