Madonna of Bruges

Madonna Of Bruges

Madonna of Bruges

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The Madonna of Bruges is a marble sculpture by Michelangelo, of Mary with the infant Jesus.

Michelangelo's depiction of the Madonna and Child differs significantly from earlier representations of the same subject, which tended to feature a pious Virgin smiling down on an infant held in her arms. Instead, Jesus stands upright, almost unsupported, only loosely restrained by Mary's left hand, and appears to be about to step away from his mother and into the world. Meanwhile, Mary does not cling to her son or even look at him, but gazes down and away, as if she knows already what is to be her son's fate. It is believed the work was originally intended for an altar piece. If this is so, then it would have been displayed facing slightly to the right and looking down.

Madonna and Child shares certain similarities with Michelangelo's Pietà, which was completed shortly before, mainly, the chiaroscuro pattern and the movement of the drapery. The long, oval face of Mary is also reminiscent of the Pietà.

The work is also notable in that it was the only sculpture by Michelangelo to leave Italy during his lifetime. It was bought by Giovanni and Alessandro Moscheroni (Mouscron), from a family of wealthy cloth merchants in Bruges, then one of the leading commercial cities in Europe. The sculpture was sold for 4,000 florin.

The sculpture was removed twice from Belgium after its initial arrival. The first was in 1794, after French Revolutionaries had conquered the Austrian Netherlands;...
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