Megan Pierce: National Museum Blog

17 Sep

Megan Pierce

Throughout the course of history religion has been an ever present theme in the artistic community. This is why the statue of the Madonna and Child caught my attention. I have previously studied art history in high school and have an interest in history being told through art, so when I saw such a familiar sculpture I was intrigued. Upon first glance I thought of the Pieta by Michelangelo for it is also a sculpture of the Virgin Mary and Christ and both show an intimate relationship, although the meanings behind the works are essentially contrary to one another. The Pieta shows a grown Jesus who is lying dead on Mary’s lap while she grieves and the statue I observed at the museum shows Christ as a child resting in his mother’s arms. Christ is shown here resting his hand on Mary’s breast which, based on my previous knowledge, may allude to her maternal instincts and also capture the loving bond a mother and a child share. Another interesting fact about the piece is that in its original state it would have been painted to bring life to the figures present. This work easily compares to another image of the Virgin and Child shown at the museum. Both exhibit intimate relationships but the other piece shows Mary standing in a contrapposto stance with baby Jesus resting on her hip. This statue dates back to the late 15th century and during this time England was gaining more control over Ireland, especially as far as the parliament was concerned. In 1494 acts known as the Statues of Drogheda were passed which involved England in every decision made regarding Irish law. This can correspond to why the statue was created because in times of desperation the artist may have looked to religion as an escape and a symbol of hope.Madonna and Child


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