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Madonna and Saints - Rogier van der Weyden. 61.7 x 46.1 cm
Rogier van der Weyden, returning from Italy, writes several works commissioned by the Italian nobility. It is believed that this altar was written for the rulers of Florence - the Medici family, whose patrons are Saints Cosmas and Damian.
Its plot is unusual, because at the beginning of the XV century, artists very rarely painted paintings on the topic of conversation. Before us is one of these images - the Madonna and Child are surrounded by saints.
To the left in the olive-green cloak stands the Apostle Peter, holding in his hands large silver keys with an intricate groove. He is no longer young, gray hair and a beard frame a swarthy face, living eyes shine with wisdom. Peter carefully listens to the arguments of John the Baptist, standing next to him in a scarlet cloak. The saint's dark brown hair accentuates a haggard face, weathered cheekbones, and dark shadows around drooping eyes. But in his face read firm confidence in his words. In proof of his innocence, he points to the lines in the holy book, which he carefully holds, covering his hand with a hollow cloak.
And on the right side of the picture are the healers, Saints Damian and Cosmas, taking part in the conversation. They are dressed in the costumes of the rich citizens of the Renaissance, and the objects that they hold in their hands: a glass vessel, a medicine box, a lancet, indicate their profession.
Between them, under the open tent canopy on the marble steps, stands the Madonna, who is feeding the baby. The bright blue color of the dress emphasizes the fragile beauty and delicate radiant skin color of a young woman. Admiring the baby, she gently presses him to her.
Returning to the Gothic traditions, the painter leaves the background golden. However, he uses many shades of rich, vibrant colors that fill the image with light, lightness and joy.
But like any altar picture, it also contains many symbols: lily and iris flowers, meaning purity and purity of the Madonna, thin halo over saints as a sign of grace, and a book that speaks of the Divine Word.
And a curious detail on the low marble wall is the coat of arms of Florence with a stylized lily, which is also present on the coat of arms of the Medici family.
The picture does not leave you indifferent, you feel the warmth and sincerity with which the artist wrote it.