Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Bartolome Esteban Murillo

Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Bartolome Esteban Murillo

In the 1670s, the image of the Virgin Mary in the work of Murillo loses warmth, becomes “generalized theological.”

The artist now shows the Mother of God, not as before – a young woman with a hidden sadness in her eyes, the Divine Child is tremblingly pressed to her chest, – but by some abstract deity. If the master used to follow the path of concretization of the image of the Madonna, now he, on the contrary, seeks to generalize him, as if to remove the Virgin Mary from the earthly “spheres.” He lifts Her on a pedestal, from the height of which She appears to the viewer

as a distant and, in essence, indifferent to his petty earthly sorrows and joys of power. Exceptions from the series of “indifferent Madonn” are, perhaps, only “Madonna-Gypsy” and this is the “Ascension of the Virgin Mary”, where Murillo returns to his former style.

In the last work, the Mother of God, shown by the painter at the moment of ascension to the unearthly light, again appears to us in the form of a young girl with a naive and trusting expression of an almost childish face. Credulity – and in the open hands of the Virgin Mary. The soft radiance enveloping Her gives Her image even more warmth and expressiveness.

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