Madonna col Bambino (c.1470-1475)

Ghirlandaio, Domenico (1448-1494)

Madonna col Bambino (Madonna and Child)
Tempera on panel transferred to hardboard, 70.8 x 48.9 cm
National Gallery of ArtWashington

Against a gold background, a blond woman is shown from the lap up, facing us as she holds and looks down at a plump baby sitting on a gold and white pillow on her lap in this vertical painting. Both people have pale, peachy skin, and faint halos encircle their heads. The child sits with his body angled to our right, toward his mother, but he turns to look off to our left with pale green eyes. He holds his right hand, on our left, up with his thumb and first two fingers raised. He has short, light brown hair, rounded cheeks, a delicate nose and lips, and chubby legs. He wears a light blue smock edged in gold, with gold filigree at the collar. The garment is belted with a twist of fabric patterned in bands of red, black, and gold. Under the smock he wears a half-sleeved, transparent undershirt. The woman steadies the baby with her long, delicate hands. She wears a sky-blue robe edged with gold, Arabic-like script. The lining, in a black and brown floral pattern, is visible where the edges of her robe turn back over her wrists and around her neck. Belted across the chest in a twist of blue and gold fabric, her dusky-pink dress is lined at the neck with a gold band with red and blue gems, with a brooch of pearls and rock crystal at the center. Her headdress is a sheer, white cloth bordered with a gold stripe, rolled atop her head and falling to her shoulders, where it is tucked into her robe. Some areas of the gold background have worn away to show the red layer beneath. (NGA)