who would havepurchased madonna of the long neck

Who would havepurchased madonna of the long neck
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The composition shows a majestic Madonna seated on a throne clad in luxurious robes, with the elongated form of the infant Jesus on her lap. With her right hand, she points ambivalently at her breast, clearly outlined beneath her thin, shimmering dress, indicating the intimate relationship between herself and her baby. The latter lies with outstretched arms and closed eyes, prefiguring his redemptive death on the cross and the lamentation to come. Six angels cluster in the space on the Madonna’s right, to adore both mother and child – an action echoed by the figure of St. Jerome, who is closely associated with the adoration of the Virgin Mary. The angels are presenting the Madonna with a vessel which – according to the renowned Renaissance biographer Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) – used to be adorned with a bright red cross – another allusion to the crucifixion.

Who would havepurchased madonna of the long neck

Instead of distributing his figures in equal pairs on both sides of the Madonna, he crammed a jostling crowd of angels into a narrow corner, and left the other side wide open to show the tall figure of the prophet, so reduced in size through the distance that he hardly reaches the Madonna’s knee. There can be no doubt, then, that if this be madness there is method in it. The painter wanted to be unorthodox. He wanted to show that the classical solution of perfect harmony is not the only solution conceivable . Parmigianino and all the artists of his time who deliberately sought to create something new and unexpected, even at the expense of the ‘natural’ beauty established by the great masters, were perhaps the first ‘modern’ artists. [3]

The painting depicts the Virgin Mary seated on a high pedestal in luxurious robes, holding a large baby Jesus on her lap. Six angels crowded together on the Madonna’s right adore the Christ-child.

Who would havepurchased madonna of the long neck
In the lower right-hand corner of the painting is an enigmatic scene, with a row of marble columns and the emaciated figure of St. Jerome. A depiction of St. Jerome was required by the commissioner because of the saint’s connection with the adoration of the Virgin Mary.
The painting is popularly called Madonna of the Long Neck because “the painter, in his eagerness to make the Holy Virgin look graceful and elegant, has given her a neck like that of a swan.” On the unusual arrangement of figures, Austrian-British art historian E. H. Gombrich writes:

The painting depicts the virgin mary as Madonna, seated on a high pedestal and swathed in luxurious robes, holding a rather large baby Jesus on her lap. On her left are visible six angels crowding around the Madonna and adoring the Christ. The unfinished face of the angel on the bottom left (from the viewer’s perspective) can be seen more clearly in recent reproductions (top), following a restoration of the painting. Additionally, the angel in the middle of the bottom row now looks at the vase held by the angel on his right, in which can be seen the faint image of a cross. Before the restoration (as can be seen in the older reproduction, bottom), this angel looked down at the Christ child. The changes made during the restoration likely reflect the original painting, which must have been ed at some time in its history. On the Madonna’s right (from the viewer’s perspective) is an enigmatic scene, with a row of marble columns and the emaciated figure of St. Jerome. A depiction of St. Jerome was required by the commissioner because of the saint’s connection with the adoration of the Virgin Mary. The painting is popularly called “Madonna of the Long Neck” because “the painter, in his eagerness to make the Holy Virgin look graceful and elegant, has given her a neck like that of a swan.”On the unusual arrangement of figures, art historian E. H. Gombrich writes:
“Instead of distributing his figures in equal pairs on both sides of the Madonna, he crammed a jostling crowd of angels into a narrow corner, and left the other side wide open to show the tall figure of the prophet, so reduced in size through the distance that he hardly reaches the Madonna’s knee. There can be no doubt, then, that if this be madness there is method in it. The painter wanted to be unorthodox. He wanted to show that the classical solution of perfect harmony is not the only solution conceivable; that natural simplicity is one way of achieving beauty, but that there are less direct ways of getting interesting effects for sophisticated lovers of art. Whether we like or dislike the road he took, we must admit that he was consistent. Indeed, Parmigianino and all the artists of his time who deliberately sought to create something new and unexpected, even at the expense of the ‘natural’ beauty established by the great masters, were perhaps the first ‘modern’ artists. We shall see, indeed, that what is now called ‘modern’ art may have had its roots in a similar urge to avoid the obvious and achieve effects which differ from conventional natural beauty.”

A Virgin with a statuesque figure reminiscent of Michelangelo, but with unnaturally elongated forms, contemplates the Divine Infant, who is asleep on her lap. The Child’s slumber prefigures his death on the cross, as the image of the Crucifixion is reflected in the urn that the angel is showing to the Virgin. The column on Mary’s left highlights the suppleness of her bust and neck, but it could also be a reference to the incorruptible purity of the Virgin sung about in the Marian hymn Collum tuum ut columna: “Your neck is like a column”.
The small figure at the bottom on the right is St Jerome, who is unrolling his scroll as he turns towards an unfinished figure, St Francis (the artist only had time to paint one of his feet). The presence of St Francis could be a reference to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the cult of which was diffused by the Franciscan order.

References:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_with_the_Long_Neck
http://www.wikiart.org/en/parmigianino/madonna-with-the-long-neck-1540
http://allart.biz/photos/image/Parmigianino_1_Madonna_with_the_Long_Neck.html
http://www.uffizi.it/en/artworks/parmigianino-madonna-long-neck
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_with_the_Long_Neck

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