Madonna and the Child Painting Formal Analysis Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-03 20:53:55
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Vanderbilt University
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The formal art analysis of paintings is very crucial for the piece of art. It tends to disclose the elements of art which the painter have incorporated into the artwork to make it presentable and appealing to the audience. In the case of this paper, the analysis of Duccio Di Buoninsegnas found in the Vallotton Felix, writing in an interior, 1904 museum of fine Arts piece is done. It will disclose the line shape, form, color, value and intensity of the art. Besides it describes the design which the artist has used to validate his artwork. The Madonna and the child depict the Virgin Mary and it inaugurates the grand tradition in the Italian art which envisions the sacred figures. The child pushes the veil of the mother whose gloomy face depicts the foreknowledge about his crucifixion. The beautifully modeled drapery enhances the three dimensions and their physical presence.

In the art, there are various elements which have been used to illustrate the use of art in the painting. These comprise of the line, shape and form, texture, color, and space. In the Madona and the child art, both horizontal and vertical lines have been used. The horizontal lines which are depicted at the topmost part of the art shows the feeling of rest which the child and the mother have has the son touches her veil as the mother looks at him with a lot of sympathy. On the other hand, the vertical line is portrayed in the background to depict the holiness and spirituality which Madonnas child have, which is beyond the human understanding. The lines have also been used to represent the permanence and reliability of the art as well as its components. For example, it shows the reliability of the child and her mother Madonna.

The art also has different shapes and forms which have been illustrated by different closed lines. These comprise geometric shapes and forms such as circles and rectangles. These show that they are human-made and they were incorporated by the author of the art during the painting process. The use of these shapes and forms aided the artist to draw this complex painting, a process which has a greater impact on the composition and aid in the balancing of the artwork. The rectangular shapes depict that the author used specific measurements in the construction of the painting. On the other hand, the painting also has a free form or organic shapes which are typically irregular or asymmetric. For example, the fingers and the toes of the Madonna and the baby depict the irregular shapes and forms. These forms are not easy to describe by using definitions. Also, the positive shapes are also used in the analysis. In the art, Madonna and Baby Jesus form the part of the positive shapes since they are the subject matter under analysis in the work of art. They show the innocence which is depicted on the eyes of the baby as well as the mercy or sympathy the mother has for the son since he awaits the forthcoming crucifixion and death.

In the Madonna art, both positive and negative have been utilized. The area or space which is occupied by Madonna and the Baby is the positive space, and the other which is not occupied by the art is the negative space. The positive space is more hence making the picture to be proportionate and vivid. It enabled the author to depict the compassion the baby has for his mother as well as the pettiness in the mothers eyes through the facial expression. It also depicts the warmness in the eyes of the baby as well as the laxity expressed by the horizontal lines. There is a usage of the three-dimensional shape. It had been achieved through the perspective drawing techniques and shadings. The perfect decoration and shading of Madonnas veil, arms, fingers and the babys clothes, face and the body parts give them the three dimensions, a skill which most of the artists always tries to achieve while composing their paintings. These give a sense of livelihood, vivacity and a sense of touch of the painting to the users.

In art, color is life, and the painting without color appears to be one which has no value. Various colors have been used in the painting. The clothes of Madonna are painted with the black color and the baby with reddish- orange color. On the other hand, the background of the painting is painted with brown with some minor black spots. The dull colors have been mixed with other colors to create the sedate or serious mood. For instance, the dull color and light have been used in painting the face of Madonna as well as her clothes depict that the woman has no happiness and expresses the sympathy she has for the son who awaits death at his tender age. She grieves and at the same time sympathizes the child before the actual time of death. On the other hand, the child has a bright reddish-orange clothing to depict the heightened emotions and positive energy which he has at his tender age. Besides, it also reflects the warmth he gets from the mother. It thus shows that the image incorporates both the seriousness as shown by Madonna and Joy as portrayed by the baby as she soothes her mother innocently. The use of colors at the background reddish and the top of the frame is golden. These are also bright colors which depict a lot of value which the painting has as it displays the paintings. Besides, at the edge of Madonnas veil, the silvery brown color is used to depict the warmth she gets after the birth of the holy son.

The texture is another element which has been displayed by the painting. The texture refers to the quality of the image which is sensed through touch. In this piece of art, the texture of the painting is rough both at the margin as well as at negative and positive spaces. It shows that it is silvery at some points and contains some cracks or small lines which depict roughness of the surface. Also, the margin of the frame is broken in a manner which shows that the painting is old enough to the point that it has started to wear out at the margin. These show that the two-dimensional skills have been used to depict the quality of the painting as well as the painting skills which have been incorporated in the painting. On the other hand, the painting of the clothing or the veil is a clear indication of fabrics of different types which are used in the contemporary society. It thus shows the manner in which the author has portrayed the manner in which the society has been using different fabrics for their beauty.

There are also various art design which have been used in the painting, these comprise of the usage of rhythm, balance, patterns and emphasis. For instance, the artist have equality distributed the visual weight of color, texture and space. The art is centrally placed with the dark color have been applied in the veil of Madonna as well as the reddish-orange color on the clothes of the child. Besides, on the background, the brown color with minor horizontal lines is equally distributed to depict the quality of the work and to give a proper view of the painting. The symmetrical balance have been used even though they tend to look different on the lower right and left sides of the image. Also, a lot of emphasis has been used in the image especially when different colors were used on the background, the veil of Madonna and the robe of the child. The difference makes Madonna and the child to stand out and it makes them distinct and visual. In the art, especially at the bottom, different patterns have been used. Besides, the whole background has similar patterns which aids in the creation of unity and makes the work look active and presentable.

Therefore, in this painting, the author has incorporated different elements of art to depict the Italian Madonna and the child in a fine and valuable manner. He had incorporated all elements in one way or another, and they comprise of the use of both horizontal and vertical lines, the geometrical and organic shape and forms, the positive and negative space, the bright and dull color with divergent intensities. Also, the rough texture has been depicted in the painting both on the surface and on the frames which also depicts the age of the painting. It reveals that the painting was done a long time ago and it has started to deform at the margins, especially at the bottom and the upper parts of the paintings margin. It also incorporates different designs which creates art harmony, makes it active and enable it to stand out and it enhances art unity and presentability.


Clark, J. E. (2016). Albert Cleage Jr. and the Black Madonna and Child. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US.

Day, J. (2013). Line color form: The language of art and design. New York: Allworth Press.

Fegdal, Charles, and Felix Vallotton. Felix Vallotton. Rieder, 1931.


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