Barnaba da Modena's 'The Virgin and Child': Analysis

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The present work is focused on undertaking an in-depth analysis of two famous religious paintings: The Virgin and Child by Barnaba da Modena, an Italian painter from the fourteenth century, and The Elevation of the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens, a seventeenth century Flemish artist and diplomat. Following, by comparison, a thorough account of the two works' features, careful observation reveals more than one interpretation. The Virgin and Child was created by Barnaba da Modena in 1360, and is deemed Gothic in style. It depicts The Virgin Mary holding a Child Christ in her arms, and rests undamaged to this day in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. In terms of formal elements, it is 39.4 inches in height and 24.8 inches in width (100 x 63 cm), a religious painting executed by means of tempera on panel. The enduring framing edges might indicate that the painting was initially planned to be the central piece of a polyptych. A first impression is that of anachronism: its opulent golden background and the intricate striation outlines on the Madonna's mantle seem to indicate a much earlier conception, mainly Byzantine in nature. However, the Byzantine herring-bone pattern is clearly endowed with a more modern linear roundness. Obvious from the start is the artist's careful attention to details, illustrated in the richly decorated background and characters' attire. Employing this general density automatically enhances the Virgin's gaze, making it charged with severity, intense. On

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