Madonna of the Rose Garden

Title: Madonna of the Rose Garden

Date: ca. 1470-75

Location of the work: The Louvre, Paris, France

Medium: Tempera on Panel

Approximate dimensions of work: 93 x 69 cm

This painting was painted by Sandro Botticelli around the middle of the 15th century. Botticelli was an early Renaissance artist who later became known for his depictions of religious and mythological scenes, particularly scenes of the Madonna. This particular work predates two of his most famous paintings, La Primavera and The Birth of Venus. Madonna of the Rose Garden is said to be one of the most moving depictions of the Madonna done by Botiticelli. However it is said that Saint John has been painted with an inferior quality, which was mostly likely due to Botticelli using a different master painter to complete this work. In this painting Botticelli uses the white roses seen behind Mary to symbolize her virginity and purity, and it is said that the red roses resemble beauty and love. The expressions of each character are directed differently in this painting, with Mary seen in what looks like contentment with her eyes closed and her hand holding baby Jesus. The baby Jesus is depicted much like a regular baby, with his loving gaze fixed on his mother’s face, seemingly unaware of the audience of the painting. John the Baptist, on the other hand is gazing out boldly into the audience, challenging the viewer and reminding us of what’s to come.

References:

http://www.aiwaz.net/panopticon/madonna-of-the-rose-garden/gi744c122

http://renaissance-art.suite101.com/article.cfm/christian_flower_symbol

La Primavera

The Birth of Venus

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