Before us is a picture of the great Botticelli, full of symbolic images. It is sometimes called “Madonna, which teaches the reading of the infant of Christ.”
The book lying on the table is called “The Hours of Mary” – a symbol of the church wisdom of the time. The nails in the left arm of the baby Jesus and the thorny wreath on his wrist, inexorably testify to the upcoming suffering that He will atone for the sins of mankind.
With his right hand, folded in a certain gesture, he blesses the book. The God-child gently touches her Mother and, turning, admiringly looks at
Madonna is immersed in silent sadness, she humbly waits for her intended God. The figure on the mantle of the Holy Virgin, in the form of inverted flames emanating from the Sun, is a symbol of future suffering and death on the cross of her Savior Son. Garden fruits on the table symbolically indicate the Kingdom of God, open to people by Christ.
The general composition of this late artist’s painting is simple and laconic, and recalls the early period of his work. For some reason, Botticelli introduces an element of instability into the picture-Madonna either half-sits or gets up, from this position the baby Jesus seems uncomfortable. The master left this mystery to us unanswered, it still has to be solved…