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The Bruges Madonna of Michelangelo

The Madonna with child, also known as the Bruges Madonna, is a marble sculpture made by Michelangelo of Maria with the child Jesus. The sculpture is kept in the Church of our Lady in Bruges, it is known as the only sculpture of Michelangelo that left Italy during his lifetime. The statue was bought for 4000 florins by Giovanni and Alessandro Moscheron. They belonged to a wealthy Bruges family of sheet and metal traders.

Picture by Pixabay

Michelangelo made the sculpture between 1501 and 1504, just after he had made his famous Pietà. The artwork in Bruges, therefore, has similarities in style attributes with the Pietà sculpture, for example in the face of Maria, but also in the way the clothes are shaped. The artwork was supposedly intended for the Piccolomini altar in the Cathedral of Siena, where Michelangelo also produced some other sculptures.

Picture by Pixabay

Striking on the sculptured image is the attitude of the two figures. Where the classic view of the theme often depicts the Mary figure as a mother who loves the child lovingly, in this view, the Christian child is remarkably tall. The child is almost upright without the aid of his mother, meeting the world. Maria does not look at the child but looks at the spectator with a sad look as if she knows what fate is waiting for him.

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