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Virgin And Child By Lucas Cranach The Elder

1727 words - 7 pages

The elaborate artwork by Lucas Cranach the Elder titled: Virgin and Child, 1513-1514, depicts the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus sitting on what appears to be a bench under a tree. In the background and to the left of The Virgin Mary is a castle, or what could be considered as a mansion of some sort. Closer to the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus, but still behind them, is a path that is surrounded by grass. This path could signify that they are in a park. One of the colors used in the painting is blue, which signifies the sky. The color brown represents the tree, the bench, and the path that is in between the grass behind the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus. The Virgin Mary's hair is brown ...view middle of the document...

The composition of Cranach the Elder's, Virgin and Child, utilizes the concept of central placement of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus. Other figures in the artwork, such as the tree the Virgin Mary is sitting under with the Baby Jesus and the castle in the background, are still equally represented in the artwork because they maintain their attractiveness to the viewer, even though they are not in the center of the painting. Another theme of Cranach the Elder's Virgin and Child that is distinct, in relation to its composition, is the facial expressions of the the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus. The first word that immediately comes to mind when viewing the two figures being portrayed in the painting is: solemnity. Both, the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus, although he is in the infancy stage of his life, might convey to viewer's of this painting that this is a period of jubilation and joy because it was Jesus' arrival on Earth, but they give the facial expression that this was also a period in time to take seriously because many people did not exactly believe the same about Jesus. More specifically, a vast amount of people had heard about Jesus' birth and firmly believed that he was the second coming of Christ, but for just as many who believed that he was the savior of the world, many people also believed that he was a fraud. I believe this is what Cranach the Elder was depicting in this painting in relation to the Virgin and Mary and the Baby Jesus.
Cranach the Elder's use of space, or lack thereof, is another theme that is profound throughout this artwork. The way that the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus are placed in the center of the painting, while also remaining the closest to the viewer, is one concept of the artwork that stands out to the viewer. Furthermore, although Cranach the Elder utilizes hierarchic scale to provide emphasis to the viewer of the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus in the painting, he is still able to include all of the feature elements that add realism to it. For example, the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus are, without a doubt the largest figures in the painting, but Cranach the Elder still leaves enough space to add a tree, vegetation, and a castle in order to produce a more elaborate setting in this painting. Another way Cranach the Elder utilizes space in this artwork is by making the Virgin Mary's clothing abundant, while consisting of multiple colors. I believe Cranach the Elder does this in order to show his audience that the Virgin Mary is not only of royalty, perhaps because of her blue garments, but to also juxtapose how the clothing people wore back then versus how they dressed in his time. This element of space, in relation to this artwork, is profound because Cranach the Elder provides the Virgin Mary with long drapery for clothing, instead of providing her with much smaller ones. He also adds significance to the Virgin Mary by making her clothing multiple colors when he could...

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