Painting by artist Sandro Botticelli “The Madonna of Bardi”, the full title of the painting “The Madonna with John the Baptist and John the Theologian”. The size of the altar work is 185 x 180 cm, wood, tempera.
This altarpiece was ordered by the painter Agnolo Bardi for his family chapel in the Florentine church of Santo Spirito, so the painting is called “The Madonna of Bardi”. This picture by Botticelli represents a different type of composition than the painter “Madonna” previously painted.
On the jeweled throne sat the Blessed Virgin Mary with a baby on her lap, on both sides of it are depicted both saints John. The sharply outlined figures stand out against the backdrop of a three-gardened garden gazebo and a stone parapet with fine carvings, which emphasize the flattened nature of the construction, the insignificant depth of the visual space where the Madonna and the baby are, and the saints. The principle of placing the scene on a background resembling a trellis with a vegetable pattern, echoes the picture “Spring”.
But if the “Spring” was written by air, flying lines and painted a harmonious mood with a slight taste of melancholy, now the spirit of the image is changing. The lines become clear, even stiff, which is particularly evident in the ornamental weaving of foliage. The image of the characters lays the seal of sad contemplation, sorrow and detachment.
The balance between sensual charm and spirituality shifts towards the latter. A significant role in the picture is played by the theological element, which largely depends on the ritual purpose of the picture. Everywhere in bouquets and floral decorations, ribbons with inscriptions are woven. Like the flowers and branches depicted by the master, these inscriptions contain a hint of the incarnation of Christ and his Passion.