Madonna Meadow, Giovanni (Jambellino) Bellini
- Posted by Giovanni Bellini
- Museum: National Gallery (London)
- Year: Around 1,500
Overview of the painting :
Madonna Meadow – Giovanni (Jambellino) Bellini. Around 1,500. Wood, tempera. 67.3×86.4
Giovanni Bellini is an Italian painter, a leading master at the Venetian school of Early Renaissance, the largest representative of the whole dynasty of artists.
Madonna and the Baby were portrayed so often and with so many options – in the interior, on a landscape background, surrounded by many saints, donors and other “specifying” details that it became necessary to indicate some peculiarity specific to her in the name of the picture. So, this image of Our Lady with the Baby was known as “Madonna Meadow” or “Madonna in the Meadow” (compare with the Leonardian “Madonna in the Rocks”). It is a carefully designed landscape with many elements – human activity, architectural motive, wonderful transmission of air and lighting – that makes this image unique.
Key figures also bear the seal of the master’s hand. Madonna prays for the Baby sleeping on her lap. His pose is very natural and at the same time symbolic: the composition of the two figures cannot but provoke in the imagination the image of the future mourning of Christ – also a lonely sitting Virgin Mary with the dead Christ lying on Her lap. This allusion is certainly deliberate, but it is “integrated” into the picture to a higher degree artistically and passes in the mind of the viewer with an accompanying “motive” to the main plot of work. Many seemingly random, household details should also be interpreted (traditionally for old masters). So, to the left of Madonna, a swamp bird is depicted in the background, possibly a crane, it preys on snakes. This is probably the personification of the struggle of Good with Evil.