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Free «Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus with the Angels by Gerard David» Essay Sample

Cultural and historical factors have a significant impact on artwork. Therefore, the artists must be able to correlate concepts well in order to address relevant information. Gerard David is a Dutch painter who lived between 1455 and 1523. Details about his personal life are unknown but his paintings were outstanding in art industry.

The painting of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus with the Angels by Gerard David (Metropolitan Museum of Art) is appealing, at first glance. However, there are some distinct features employed by the artist that bring out the differences in the two art works. Studies and critical analysis of the painting indicate the authenticity in which Gerard David based his art work. Gerard David painted his work in the middle of the Renaissance period in about 1501 in Italy. The features in the paintings signify the transition period of Christianity as people came up with various ideologies. Moreover, the painting tends to revolve around the subject matter of the divinity where the Virgin, the four angels, and all other beings worship Jesus. This depicts how people are indulged in various aspects of religion. Therefore, they requested for the portraits of the heavenly beings as a way of acknowledging the supremacy of the religious characters to help them keep their faith. The pictures are connected together with the same monastery. The painting remains to be popular in the art industry and is currently displayed in the Gallery 626.



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It is important to thoroughly examine the pictures in order to understand the uniqueness that exists in the painting. To begin with, the painting by Gerard David appears unique and more pleasant to the eyes. He gave his painting a rectangular shape and made it visible by increasing its length to about two feet with the width of a half a foot. He has included the Virgin, child and four angels in his painting. Two angels are actually indicated as flying beings above Mary holding a crown over her head. The other two angels are painted on both sides of the Virgin and Child while playing instruments. The positioning of the angels demonstrates the level of significance among the angels. There is an archway opening to a landscape featured with grass and trees, some buildings and mountains from a far distance in front of the Virgin. The clothing of the virgin is also quite symbolic in showing the importance of the Renaissance period. The painter gives her a red garb while the Child is dressed in some white cloth. Her dress is shaded to bring out the contrast of light and darkness. The painter made his work as an ideal type when he chose to use the three dimension aspect in painting all the figures. This has made the piece beautiful and human to anyone who views it.

The painting of Gerard David is described as an image because it entails a balanced composition of pictures that may look real and convincing for the eyes. The painting is an oil type done on wood, which is appealing to the viewer. The characters in the painting do not overlap with each other but are evenly spaced. The figures are not exaggerated hence making the painting rational to some extent. The Virgin and the Child are put at the center with the angels flying and t playing the harp in a uniform space. The architecture used is of a skilful type because the objects that are meant to be closer are magnified and seem larger before the observer. This painting aims at drawing the attention of the viewer to Jesus. As a matter of fact, all the figures including Mary look over to baby Jesus. The angels are put in a manner that they seem to focus directly on Jesus when the viewer looks at those angels.

David has enriched his art by choosing all of his colors appropriately. The use of red color on the Virgin’s dress and along the column of the painting makes the work presentable. He balances the red by using it uniformly to fit the context of his idea. Moreover, the golden crown on Mary’s head and on the wings of the angels supporting it brings the reality of the painting. The instruments are played by two angels. Nevertheless, blue and green colors are also emphasized on the dressing of the two angels playing the harp and the guitar respectively. The blue dress of the angel who plays the harp looks similar to blue sky, while the green color on the other angel is the same as the color of the grass and trees in the landscape beyond. These colors are very vibrant and make the painting by Gerard David realistic, and indicate the outstanding characteristics of the Italian Renaissance (Harbison 12). The styles used to add an effect in the appearance of the painting are very crucial in setting a demarcation between the Renaissance and the Baroque paintings.

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David, in his sprightly picture, paints Mary and baby Jesus right at the center with the angels from the above. Nevertheless, the positioning of the angels from the throne and light emanating from the head of the Child signifies that Jesus is a Supreme Being. In the Gerard David’s work, the angels and Mary worship baby Jesus.

This painter deserves appreciation for the kind of work he did in the art history. Gerard David can be said to be a lover of nature based on how elegantly he has described the landscape in his painting. He has used the Rococo style mostly in his artwork. This is evident in his engraving pattern. He tactfully paints the figures by balancing the essential colors used. Each of them uses a color to satisfy his need. For example, David chose a red color to paint Mary’s dress. This clearly indicates the cultural background of the artist. Moreover, it denotes how the church went through dynamic changes in different environments. Although the painting is driven towards the supremacy of Jesus and the divinity sense among Christians, the painter highlights on some contrasting ideas. In his work, David paints the Virgin as the Queen of Heaven to be crowned by the angels, and only engages the viewer with the Child. He clearly demonstrates how Mary is seated in reverence of Christ. All of the angels are obliged with no duty but to worship the Christ Child.

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Artwork can be greatly influenced by some cultural factors. Therefore, the artists must be able to correlate concepts well in order to address relevant information. Although David did his painting on different times and grounds, he has remained to be an icon in the art history because of talking about the subject matter of religion. This portrays the kind of people who normally take their time to give the best in work. This work provides enough details and denotes how Renaissance and Baroque contributed to shaping the art of painting. Moreover, similarities in the inclusion of some figures in the painting indicate the significance of religion in different cultural backgrounds. Detailed composition of color and spacing of figures brings the authenticity of the painting, and enables the viewer to make a factual conclusion on the Virgin and the Child.


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