SANDRO BOTTICELLI (FLORENCE, 1445 - 1510) inv. 443
The Mother and the Child are depicted with an open volume, perhaps a "Book of Hours", a prayer book widely popular between the 13th and 18th centuries.
The image has a familiar connotation, as the presence of common objects such as books and boxes highlights. On the right, there is a window open on a landscape, which, with its sunset light, illuminates the interior. However, the light that pervades the Mother and the Child does not seem to have a natural origin. Rather, it appears to emanate from the two sacred figures themselves, turning the simple and domestic space of the room into a mystical scene.
Also the fruits in the majolica bowl have a symbolical meaning: the cherries allude to Christ's blood, the plums to the tenderness of the Mother and the Child, while figs symbolize Jesus' Salvation or Resurrection. The three nails in the Child's hand and the crown of thorns evoke the Passion of Christ.
This painting dating from about 1482-1483, also known as the Madonna of the Book, belongs to the mature production of Sandro Botticelli, but it still reflects the influence of Filippo Lippi, who first taught Botticelli.
This work contains the elements that characterise this period of Botticelli's art: a delicate and elegant linearity, a precious style still far from the intense pathos of his late works.