Madonna Of The Clouds Analysis

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Located in hallway nestled between the Art of Europe and Art of Ancient Worlds wings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is the Italian Renaissance Gallery (Gallery 206). Here, Donatello’s Madonna of the Clouds and Luca della Robbia’s Virgin and child with lilies face one another, competing for museum-goers’ attention from alternate sides of the narrow gallery. Both pieces indulge ingenious techniques, original at the time of conception, to create a completely new visual experience of a very traditional biblical scene, the Madonna with her child, Jesus Christ. This paper will employ close visual analysis of two 15th-century Renaissance reliefs from Florence depicting the Virgin Mary and Jesus Chris in order to show how these artists used innovative…show more content…
Depicting a very real emotion on his statue, rather than the stoic deadpan of the classical Rome, Donatello reflects the movement of humanism that swept through Florence in the 15th-century (Lecture 4). However, the most significant part of this piece in regards to Madonna of the Clouds is the relief underneath the statue, Saint George and the Dragon. While George, the dragon, and the picture protrude defiantly from their background, there is subtle, painterly carving providing context to the battle scene. Donatello applies atmospheric perspective, using incised lines, to not only complete the story, but emphasize his characters (Gardner). By having Mary’s head protrude out more so than other features of the relief, the accentuating effect is the same. Meanwhile in Luca della Robbia’s Virgin and child with lilies, della Robbia used colored glaze on terracotta, combining two-dimensional and three-dimensional art on one relief. The Madonna holds Christ lovingly again, while he reaches for lilies. The angels are farther removed from the scene, as implied by their smaller size and the shadowy mist evoked with blue
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