Our Art / Carlo Crivelli / Madonna and Child

Madonna and Child by Carlo Crivelli
Madonna and Child by Carlo Crivelli

Madonna and Child, 1480

Carlo Crivelli

This painting of the Madonna and Child has been perfectly preserved for almost 600 years. Although the perspective is odd, the painting is exquisitely detailed, even three-dimensional: the Madonna’s halo and tiara are studded with precious gems. The painting is filled with a vocabulary of symbols. The apples and oversized fly perched on the railing are symbols of sin and evil. The opposing forces of redemption are embodied in the cucumber, and in the goldfinch the child clutches in his hands. Crivelli’s signature is part of the painting; you’ll see it on what looks like a piece of paper attached to the yellow cloth.

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