Mantagna’s fascination with Antiquity and the canons of beauty of this period were most clearly reflected in his altar image “Madonna and Child, John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene.”
The sculptural interpretation of the characters is most clearly visible in their frozen poses and folds of clothing, as if carved out of stone. In the center of the picture is Mary, while her image is devoid of any royalty and sublimity. The young, with a young simple face, the Mother of God is more like a peasant woman.
The baby in her arms is depicted alive, with an unusual turn of the body. On the sides of the red, scarlet armchair with a geometrically correct canopy, are located John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene. In the hands of the first traditional attribute – a cross with an embroidered ribbon, predicting the fate of the newborn, namely, about the lamb redeeming sins.
The anointing vessel is in the hands of Magdalene – her gaze is fixed on the sky, her expression is concentrated and sad. The background is a landscape with sharply contrasting colors – dark green foliage and blue sky. This color contrast creates a special mood, suggesting that taking into account this baby is already predetermined.