Title: Madonna of the Goldfinch, 1767/1770
Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770)
When Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo created the work above in the 18th century, the traditional Madonna and Child of earlier religious eras (including the Middle Ages, Italian Renaissance, and Baroque periods of art) had been replaced by a more natural representation. Especially noticeable is the absence of haloes, a sign of divinity, for both mother and child.
Yet, does the baby Jesus Christ, rosy-cheeked with red hair, already have a strength and directness about Him? Looking straight at the viewer, in contrast to His mother Mary’s downward glance. A brightly colored goldfinch, a symbol of His future Passion (the events leading to his later death) held in His chubby hand.
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In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
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