Madonna con Bambino, Kress Collection (1480-1485)

Bellini, Giovanni (c.1430-1516)

Madonna con Bambino (Samuel H. Kress Collection)
Oil on panel, 52.3 x 41.5 cm
National Gallery of ArtWashington

Shown from the waist up, a young woman holds a baby up against her chest in this vertical painting. They both face us and have pale skin. The woman holds the baby against the right side of her chest, to our left, and she tips her slender, oval face toward him. She looks out at us with hazel eyes under thin, arched brows. She has a long nose, smooth cheeks, and a pale pink, bow mouth. The neckline and the cuffs of her garnet-red gown peek out from beneath a dark, spruce-blue, gold-edged mantle that covers her head and wraps around her body. One forearm rests along a surface marbled in red, brown, and tan. With her other hand, she supports the chest of the baby, who wears a long, white robe. The sleeves and hemline are pushed up to reveal his pudgy arms and the leg we can see. The infant has wavy, reddish-brown hair, delicate features, and large, green eyes under faint brows. His head also tilts to our left, and he gazes off in that direction. His exposed left leg, on our right, dangles over the woman’s arm, his toe nearly brushing the tabletop. His other leg is tucked within the folds of her robe. The long fingers of her free hand curl around the child’s hidden leg. The pair are warmly lit from the upper left and set against a dark, earth-brown background. (NGA)