Madonna of the Book
The Madonna of the Book, is a small painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, and is preserved in the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan. The painting is executed in tempera on panel. It dates from between 1480 and 1483.
Original Painting by Sandro Botticelli
The Madonna of the Book is a soft and elegant work, in which Mary and the Child are seated by a window in the corner of a room. She holds a prayer book the Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis.
The infant is gazing at his mother whilst she is absorbed in reading the book. Symbolizing the Passion of Christ, the Christ Child is holding the three nails of the cross, and the crown of thorns.
In addition, the fruit in the bowl has an emblematic meaning. The cherries represent the blood of Christ or are an allusion to Paradise, plums indicate the tenderness between Mary and the Child, and the figs are characteristic of the Resurrection.
Mary's blue robe, a color she is often depicted wearing, has the symbolic meanings of purity, heaven, and royalty.
Botticelli interprets the scene with a sensitivity and love for small details: the set of boxes and the maiolica bowl of lush fruits are depicted as a still life; the pages of the book, the garments, and the transparent veils exhibit a realistic tactile quality. Botticelli painted with subtle differences in colour, and he was able to put colours together so that they complement each other admirably. The painting is adorned with gold filigree decorating the clothes and objects.
The mosaic in this artwork becomes devotion, devotion to the delicacy of colors and shades, to the richness of details, where everything is sublimated in the magical expression of the faces. With our mosaics we try to make eternal and recreate those feelings and emotions of the great masterpieces belonging to Italian tradition.
Venetian enamels and gold leaf mosaic.