Madonna and Babe
24" x 18"
Oil on wood panel
[click on the image to enlarge]
the painting is shown in two slightly different photographs
A Madonna painting is a painting of Mary, the Virgin mother of the Lord. And by definition or tradition Mary is the dominant figure in the painting. She may be depicted alone or with the Infant or young Child.
So she is seen as the mother of the Savior and also to some she may be seen as a symbol of all mothers.
She is often seen with blue robes and at first it may seem very unlikely that from Mary's humble circumstances she would have such a robe. Nevertheless there is also a biblical injunction found in Numbers 15:38 regarding blue although this refers to the instruction to put a ribbon of blue on the bottom of the robe. [French Ultramarine in this painting]
Blue is also a color mentioned in detail in the priest's clothing and curtains of the tabernacle. This creates a symbolic connection between this color and divinity.
One might conclude that the traditional clothes therefore represent the glory of her person or of mothers and the transcend event represented - which can apply to either the birth of the Lord or the birth of any child into this life through mother.
The actual historical clothes may then have been muted earth tones and today mother may have plain clothes however the painting also represents how we feel about mothers, Mary and the Lord. What does it represent to us?
Red is also usually found on the inner clothing, in this case I choose to put it as a muted color in the swaddling clothes of the Infant, and the background has a transparent oxide red glaze. Red is also symbolic of many things.
I think that we can all identify in part with the feelings of mother as she gazes with some wonder at the new and precious spirit that has become mortal through her sacrifice.
We recently celebrated the birth of a child into our family circle which lead me to consider this painting. She is a wonderful model of mother. Emery Brock kindly modeled the robes and hair for me.