Art History

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Date Submitted: 10/01/2012 04:48 AM

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The two-dimensional painting that caught my attention was the “Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Nicholas of Tolentino” by Lorenzo Lotto. The placement of the figures in the foreground takes up the bulk of the painting, but is essential to understanding the painter’s reason for leaving the middle ground out. The artist arranges the four figures’ body to tell a story of what is to come, with an undertone expression in their eyes suggesting tragedy, sadness, and pain. St. Jerome’s head leans toward the left of the border of the painting, but his body position is diagonally inward behind the Virgin bringing the eyes back to the center of the painting. The next figure is the Virgin who sits in front of St. Jerome with her head tilted away from the child she is holding. Why is that? Her eyes softly glare diagonally down to the ground away from the child and her lip is perfectly parallel to her brow in an uncomfortable manner. The child she is holding is Christ himself and he is looking away from the Virgin. The child maybe looking away from the Virgin, but he still looks connected to the Virgin. His right hand on her left shoulder, and his left hand placed on her chest indicates his need for her. However, the child’s eyes look away to the right at St. Nicholas with an endearing stare as if he has accepted his fate, “death.” The child sits on a plush pure white pillow that looks like a cloud up in the sky (heaven). It is ironic that a light brown coffin which is centered diagonally inward underneath the child on a horizontal platform brings the attention back up to the painting’s focal point. St. Nicholas of Tolentino looks as if he is kneeling down keeping his body vertical and parallel to the border. As he is kneeling, he is offering the white lily, which represents the purity of thought and action as well as innocence. The lily that St. Nicholas of Tolentino is offering is diagonally tilted toward the child and it looks as if it is touching the child’s head,...