Benvenuto Tisi da Garofalo (1481-1559), The Virgin with Child, c. 1497-1500

Benvenuto Tisi da Garofalo (1481-1559), The Virgin and Child, ca. 1497-1500. Oil on wood. 46.5 x 36 cm. KMS4194. 
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The infant is sucking his finger, just as babies have always done. Holding himself erect with almost no support from his mother, he looks out at us with a grave expression. Small ornamental golden flowers emanate from his head, and only here are we informed that this is no ordinary boy, but the infant Christ. We see him on the lap of the Virgin Mary, who is not portrayed as a poor virgin, but as a queen. Her throne is a stone bench carved with reliefs, a green cloth edged in gold serving as shelter and a sign of her elevated status.

A forecast image
The stone relief depicts an episode from the Passion, showing how Thomas, a disciple of Jesus, had to put his finger in Christ’s wound to believe his eyes: Jesus had risen from the dead and walked Jerusalem again. Thus, the relief foreshadows the fate awaiting the little boy.

Updated: 26.apr.2018
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