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Early African Art

Decent Essays
Throughout history, artists have depicted the intimate and domestic scenes of maternal love in various styles that reflected upon the historical, political, religious and artistic progression of the time period. A striking example of Early African art is a Terracotta statue ca. 1000-1500 depicting a Mother with children(?), from the Inland Niger Delta, Mali. The piece was discovered among many other modeled terracotta sculptures in the walled town of Jenne-Jeno. Archeological evidence from this region suggests the presence of several diverse ethnic groups due to the several pieces found, all differentiating in style. The mother within this statue is depicted in a seated position with 3 smaller figures clasping onto the her figure. The figures are idealized, like many of the naturalistic…show more content…
The painting, a wedding gift from Raphael to his friend Lorenzo Nasi, features the Madonna, the Christ Child, and the infant Saint John in a serene landscape. The book in Mary’s hand reads Sedes Sapientiae or “The Throne of Wisdom.” This term usually is applied to images in which Mary is seated upon a throne with The Christ child on her lap, but in this case, the inscription implies the rock on which Mary sits is her natural throne. Mary is seen keeping her page in her book as she is interrupted by the children who stand in her protective embrace. Raphael accepts the approach of the pyramidal composition, the gentle effects of the soft light and the emotional dialog between the characters. Such an interlock of gestures and glances within the painting conveys a profound intimacy between the figures within the scene. The Christ Child is lovingly stroking a goldfinch that John holds out to him. A symbol of the Passion (the goldfinch, because it feeds among thorns) is thus combined in a scene that can at a first level of meaning be seen simply as children at
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