Madonna and Child with Saints Liberale and Francis (The Castelfranco Madonna) (1505) by Giorgione

The artwork entitled “Madonna and Child with Saints Liberale and Francis (The Castelfranco Madonna)” is a distinguished work by the artist Giorgione, created in the year 1505. This religious painting is executed in oil on panel and exemplifies the High Renaissance art movement. The artwork measures 200 by 152 cm and currently resides in the Duomo di Castelfranco Veneto, located in Castelfranco Veneto, Italy.

The composition of the artwork captures a serene and sacral scene, with the Virgin Mary seated upon an elevated throne, gracefully holding the Christ Child. The throne is adorned with luxurious drapery that cascades down onto the steps below. Mary projects an aura of calm reverence as she gazes demurely down at her divine son, who in turn looks out towards the viewer with an innocent yet engaging expression. The figures are imbued with a soft, lifelike quality characteristic of Giorgione’s nuanced approach to painting.

Flanking the central figures are two saints, each standing on opposite sides of Mary and Child. To the left, Saint Liberale, clad in full armor, holds a flag and represents the martial virtues. To the right of the throne stands Saint Francis, recognizable by the stigmata on his hands and the modest robes of his Franciscan order, indicating his pious nature and commitment to the life of poverty and devotion.

Set against a backdrop of a serene, pastoral landscape, the painting conveys a harmonious connection between the celestial and the earthly. The open sky and distant mountains contribute to the serene atmosphere, with Giorgione employing a masterful handling of color and light to create depth and realism. The artwork is also marked by the precision of the checkered floor, which leads the viewer’s eye into the space and underscores the careful geometric composition of the scene. The inclusion of a coat of arms on the base of the throne adds further detail, reflecting the work’s historical and possibly commemorative significance.


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