Madonna del padiglione (c.1490)

Botticelli, Sandro (c.1445-1510)

Madonna del padiglione (Madonna of the Pavilion)
Tempera on panel, diameter 65 cm
Pinacoteca AmbrosianaMilano

This splendid tondo by Sandro Botticelli, executed with the tip of a brush with a miniaturistic attention, proposes an apparently conventional religious theme (the Madonna and Child), but in reality full of symbolism. Already the same tent, or “pavilion”, is one of the most important biblical symbols both in the Old Testament (the “tent of meeting” as the place of God’s presence), and in the New Testament (in the Gospel of John, to summarize the mystery of the incarnation, we read: “And the Word became flesh and ‘pitched his tent’ among us”). The two angels who open the “curtain” therefore reveal the mystery of the incarnation: the Son of God who became a child and was born of the Virgin Mother. (PAM)