Art History Paper
The three figures are arranged in a triangle formation, with Mary at the apex. This positioning was often used by artists such a Leonardo dad Vinci and can be seen in his work The Virgin of the Rocks. This painting also displays chiaroscuro, as the ground is composed of dark colors; browns, blues and reds, but the figures and the sky are much lighter. The figures are shown with very pale skin, which makes them stand out from the darker ground and the sky is an extremely light blue color. This technique helps the artists convey spatial depth.
The baby Jesus is shown wearing a delicate golden halo, and is simultaneously grabbing the book that Mary is eating and pointing at the young John the Baptist. I thought that this might be a symbol of the importance of John the Baptist’s work in the Bible. The Master of Frankfurter’s Holy Kinship shows a scene including Mary, the baby Jesus, and Marry mother SST. Anne, and their family members. The three men standing behind Mary and SST. Anne are Ann.’s three different husbands, and many of their children are also shown in the painting.
Mary is shown seated on a bench with Jesus standing in her lap. In this work, Christ is not shown wearing a halo. This artwork is very crowded and shows many different people. According to the placard at the museum, the nun that is painted in the right hand corner of the left panel may have commissioned this painting. This piece reflects the International Gothic style of painting, seen through the use of lavish colors and luxurious and detailed fabrics. In both paintings, Mary is shown wearing a blue cloak. This is a symbol for her “Heavenly grace. However, the manner in which the fabrics are painted vanes greatly between the two works. Budgerigar’s piece shows softer and less defined brushstrokes throughout the whole painting which gives it a mellow, smooth appearance. Yet in Holy Kinship, everything is extremely detailed and life-like. The fabrics that are being worn show every crease, and the columns, trees, and buildings in the background are very real looking. The settings also differ in these two paintings. Madonna and the Child with SST. John the Baptist takes place in an idealistic, natural, countryside setting.
According to the textbook, this painting follows High Renaissance Classicism, tit the pyramid formation and the background that fades away into a mist. The tree that is shown behind the three figures is a symbol of new life, and alludes to what Jesus brings to the world. In Holy Kinship, the figures are painted inside some sort of room, which is located in a city setting as can be seen by the other structures that are painted in the background. Something that is similar in both of these paintings, is that both of the baby Jesus are painted with some sort of light blue, delicate, see-through cloth on their bodies.
In Holy Kinship, baby Christ is wearing a tunic-type shirt that covers his whole torso, but is not visible unless you are looking at the actual painting in real life (not a photo of it. ) In Budgerigar’s painting, baby Jesus is shown wearing the same kind of see-through blue fabric, but it is a sash that is tied around his waist. I am not sure of the symbolism of this, but I noticed it in both of the paintings. Something that is depicted in Holy Kinship that is not seen in Madonna and the Child with SST. John the Baptist is the use of orthogonal lines.
The lines that he arches in the columns create lines that run perpendicular to the picture plane, and they draw your eye into the painting. Orthogonal lines are also seen in this painting in the tiles on the floor, seen at the base of the canvas. These lines help create a type of grid in which the artist can show space and depth. Madonna and the Child with SST. John the Baptist is unique to southern Renaissance art because of various reasons. One being that you get a feeling that the artist was knowledgeable about human anatomy. The two boys are painted nude, with creases and bends that occur naturally in the body.
Also, you get clear definitions of Mar’s two breasts, you see the curve of her hip, and you can see the shape of her shin underneath her blue cape. However, as seen in northern Renaissance paintings, like Holy Kinship and also The M©rode Altarpiece, less detail is given to the shape of the human body. The sumptuous fabrics that cover the bodies are indeed greatly detailed, but they make the body appear as a undefined body-like shape. Another trait Of northern Renaissance painting is very sharp, fine, detailed brushstrokes. This makes the scene very detailed and figures look almost inhuman.
This can be seen in the Master of Frankfurter’s painting, in firstly the fabrics of the clothes, but also the columns, windows, and floor tiles. Everything is very detailed and sharply painted. Yet in Budgerigar’s painting, which follows southern Renaissance style, the three figures appear very soft and have smooth faces and bodies. The overall effect of the painting is one of softness and lightness. About southern Renaissance paintings, the book quotes that it is “a rare perfection between art and reality; an image in which a breathing instant and composure for all time are held in suspension. I feel that this holds true for Madonna and the Child with SST. John the Baptist, as I get a feeling of movement and stillness when I look at this painting. I feel like Mary could glance up at me any moment. In conclusion, both of these painting share similarities and differences. Both depict religious scenes that were the norm for the time that they were painted. Although the two show very different styles of painting, both bring a sense of peace and grace to the viewer, I believe.