The subject matter of Maddona and Child was a very popular one for artists of the The subject matter of Maddona and Child was a very popular one for artists of the sixteenth century. Rapahel, and Giovanni Bellini both painted numerous versions of the Maddona and Child. While both of the artists viewed the subject as a religious and highly emotional expression, their portrayal of many other aspects differed greatly. While Raphael portrayed what seems to be a loving, warm relationship between mother and child, a lifelike Christ child, and serenity within his paintings, Bellini portrayed a relationship that seems distant relationship between mother and child, a deathlike image of the Christ child and a sense of depression and uneasiness within his works.
Differences between the views of the artists on the portrayal of Maddona and Child can clearly be seen through the artists' use of colour, backgrounds in which the figures are placed, the poses of the figures and their relationships to one another. These can all be seen in many of the works by Bellini and Raphael, specifically, "The Small Cowper Madonna", and "Maddona Del Granduca" by Raphael and "Greek Madonna" and "Madonna of the Meadow" by Bellini.
The subject of Maddona and Child is one that is highly emotional. Raphael and Bellini portray the Virgin and Child in two very different emotional states. Raphael, in his paintings, "The Small Cowper Madonna" and "Madonna Del Granduca", illustrates a very intense feeling of love between the Virgin and Child and a feeling of content with the love that the mother and child share. In both The Small Cowper Madonna and Madonna Del Granduca, the Virgin is looking at her son with an expression that seems very tranquil. She is almost smiling yet at the same time praying, in The Small Cowper Madonna. She seems to be totally engrossed with her child, (Web Museum). At the same time, the Child seems totally comfortable with this mother. He looks out at the viewer with a visionary, yet amiable gaze, showing his carefree,
comfortable state of mind, as any happy toddler would have (Web Museum). In both
"The Small Cowper Madonna" and "Madonna Del Granduca", the Virgin holds her child
very close to her body and the Child holds onto his mother in return. The two figures
seem totally at ease with one and other. Bellini's depiction, on the other hand, is a very
different one from Raphael's. Bellini, in his "Madonna of the Meadows" and "Greek
Madona", shows a mother who does not seem to be very blithe. In "Madonna of the
Meadows", the Virgin seems to be praying. The expression on her face seems to be one
of discontent, perhaps even concern. Her eyes do not seem to be focused on her child.
The distance between the Virgin and Child is expressed even more strongly in "Greek
Madonna". The Virgin has a despondent look on her face. She is looking in the...