Giovanni di Paolo: Branchini Madonna (1427)

(Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, USA)

A painting by the Italian artist Giovanni di Paolo (1403-1482). This painting is a combination of a so-called 'Madonna of Humility' (the virgin Mary sitting on the ground) and the virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven (virgin mary wearing a crown and an ermine cloak). Mary, the child Jesus and Christ at the top are all surrounded by seraphs (a seraphim is a six-winged being and the highest type of angel in the Christian angelic hierarchy). Also Scattered throughout the painting are symbolic references to Mary and Christ: the thistles on Christ’s drapery allude to His Passion, pomegranates foretell the promise of the Resurrection, roses and marigolds refer to Mary and cornflowers relate to Christ and heaven. The painting gets is name from the Branchini family who commissioned this piece for their family chapel in the Church of San Domenico, Sienna. Painting from 1427.

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