Dec 142007
Raphael: Madonna with a Fish

The Web Gallery of Art mentions that this piece, hanging in Muceo Nacional del Prado, is believed to had been painted by Raphael’s assistants. Though I am not in the position to contest this website or the specialists they cite, I would say that Madonna’s head and face seem very much Raphael, exhibiting the artists […]

Dec 132007
Raphael: Madonna of the Meadow

Contrary to the previous Madonna we discussed, this one is poised against a vast landscape background, which supposedly should have undermined and diminished the intimacy of the scene in the foreground. But it is not so. Perhaps the opposite: the rather desolate meadows only emphasize the isolated coziness of the unfolding interaction between the three […]

Dec 112007
Raphael: Madonna del Granduca

I wonder if Raphael’s Madonnas may bring about a therapeutic effect. I am not talking about religious sympathy that some will undoubtedly experience; it’s the pure psychological influence of calm and nervous relaxation that comes to mind. As mentioned in this Wikipedia article, art is known to provoke extremely powerful emotional responses. Could it be […]

Nov 152007
Giotto, Virtues and Vices: Injustice

Injustice is the only clearly identifiable male figure among the allegories: he wears a distinct facial hair, and sits in a masculine posture. His eyes are covered — the man is blind — a feature that becomes characteristic of all Giotto’s vices to one degree or another: Despair appears dead altogether (her eyes are closed […]

Nov 132007
Giotto, Virtues and Vices: Justice

The visual thrust of the Justice allegory ensues mostly from the various attributes and ornamental additions: they may appear to “steal the show” from the sitting crowned figure — in fact, of course, complementing her and expounding her purpose. This rivalry occurs on some level in other allegories as well, but in this one it […]