Madonna of St. Vitus Cathedral

St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

1420, first quarter of 15th Century

Location: national Gallery, Prague

Medium: Tempera on Wood

Approximate Dimension: 89X77 cm

Artist is an unknown Bohemian master

The Madonna of St. Vitus Cathedral has a lot of symbolism in the poise of the figures. The painting is of mary showing her child to the congregation of faithful.  Her coquettish posture and animation of the child is very natural stance. Some scholars believe this painting is identical with the master of Beautiful Madonna of Krumlov. There is precise modeling in the stance shows the full forms of the figures with the heavy fabric of Mary’s mantle making deep folds along with the position of the child’s body and hands  (in the Holy Sign). Their spatial relation has the Madonna’s body bent sideways and drawn backwards. The child’s torso faces the spectator. Both figures face opposite directions, showing composition by the two diagonals of the oblong standing frame. Her torso is tilted toward the upper right corner while the baby Jesus and her head tilt towards the parallel and opposite corner. These spatial relations were not common prior to this era in art, and are part of the reason for the significance of the depiction of Madonna and Child.


Web Gallery of Art, Image Collection, Virtual Museum, Searchable Database of European Fine Arts (1000-1850). Web. 13 Apr. 2010. <;.