We are halfway through the Days of Christmas. Today’s art favourite is in strong contrast to the sculptures from the last posting; this alterpiece painting by Tiziano Vicellio (Titian) makes me smile.
At first glance, it seems like another ‘madonna and child’ painting, one of countless in the churches of Venice. This composition, however, has distinctive differences. Mary and Jesus are not situated in the centre of the painting, as was conventional for that time (1519-1526.) The background columns in the middle of the composition were, stylistically, innovative. Titian was breaking new ground with this painting.
Let’s look more closely at the bottom right hand corner of the painting.Gazing directly out at us, the viewers, is a young boy. It is a fairly typical response of a child in a solemn situation. All the other adults in the image are involved in the admiration of the mother and child, or in establishing Jacopo Pesaro’s (the patron) prestige. This boy is, instead, connecting directly with the larger audience of worshippers, spanning centuries.