Sandro Botticelli
Virgin and Child Enthrond between
Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist

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Sandro Botticelli, Virgin and Child Enthrond between  Saint John the Baptist and Saint John and Evanglist

Date:

1485

185 X 180 cm

Berlin, Gemaldegaierie

Virgin and Child Enthroned between Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist (known as the Bardi Alta piece)

This painting is a good example of the alterpieces that Botticelli painted. The detail which Botticelli used is extraordinary and cannot be compared to any other kind of painting Botticelli did. This piece was a very expensive commission done fo the Florentine merchant Bardi for the Church of S. Spirito in Florence. Bardi chose to involve himself in this expensive painting for the prominent church to secure a place for his burial. He repeatedly donated paintings and funding for the church.

The Bardi Altarpiece is a classic portrayal of the Virgin and Child sitting elevated between St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist.

Botticelli chose to use a very heavy plant and floral background in this painting. Each type of plant had a symbolic meaning to it. There were scripture references strategically placed in the branches and vases. The vessel or container along with the crucifixion picture below the Virgin’s feet is probably a reference to the biblical passage in Song of Solomon 1:3 where it refers to the time after Christ dies, a vessel full of ointment will spill out into the world to heal the people.

 

 

 



 

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