Madonna and Child

Giovanni Bellini Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 606

Separated from our everyday world by a parapet, the Madonna nonetheless draws the viewer in with her gaze. A cloth of honor, a rich textile often displayed behind her, has been pulled aside to reveal a distant landscape, where we witness the transition from dormant to verdant nature—a metaphor, like the dawn sky, for death and rebirth. The asymmetrical composition looks ahead to the work of Titian. When Albrecht Dürer visited Venice, he met Bellini, then in his seventies, and declared him "still the best in the art of painting."

The fine Venetian frame is of the period.

Madonna and Child, Giovanni Bellini (Italian, Venice, 1424/26–1516 Venice), Oil on wood

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