Cecco di Pietro (active 1370 - before 1403), Virgin and Child Playing with a Goldfinch and Holding a Sheaf of Millet, 1379
Cecco di Pietro is a typical artist from the early Italian Renaissance. The figures are stylised and have little volume. The surroundings are without depth or perspective. These features tie the motif to the surface and lift it out of the flow of time.
The gold ground symbolically denotes that we are in a realm beyond ours, in Heaven. As was common in art at the time, everything has symbolic significance. The infant Jesus holds a goldfinch, which symbolises the Passion – the bird lives on thistles, and so refers to the crown of thorns.
The bird has a ribbon tied around its foot. Its fettering symbolises the soul caged in the body. Only with the Resurrection is the soul set free. Thus, the bird also becomes a symbol of resurrection. The sheaf of millet in the child’s right hand symbolises the bread of communion, and the coral around his neck protects the child against evil.
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The artist Lillibeth Cuenca Rasmussen tells about Cecco di Pietros painting: Virgin and Child Paying with a Goldfinch and Holding a Sheaf of Millet.
Contributory: Lillibeth Cuenca Rasmussen
Our conservator Troels Filtenborg tells about Cecco di Pietros painting: Virgin and Child Paying with a Goldfinch and Holding a Sheaf of Millet.
Producer: Martin Køhler Jørgensen
Contributory: Troels Filtenborg