Formal Analysis of the Virgin and Child in Majesty
Maria Teresa Chong
Professor David J. Drogin
February 26, 2014
This sculpture is thirty-one inches tall that has an octagonal shaped base. The Virgin is seated on a stool. It has five columns and bases with very short pedestals. There are shafts with eight corners, which have four congruent longer sides and shorter sides. The bases of the columns are like the Ionian, but the capital is very similar to Corinthian style column because it has decorative leaves that look like they are pealing of its bell. There are four longer pedestals that separate the columns and knobs with slightly visible pegs. On the left hand side of the Virgin Mary, a peg is coming off a pedestal, which makes it more visible than the rest. Its friezes has a Romanesque style arches that are characterized with its semi-circular arches connects the columns. The friezes of the arches seem decorated with bas-reliefs (low-reliefs) or moldings weathered but still have left visible marks. The five corners of the cornice were topped of a two pairs connecting cyma moldings, having an upper convex curve and a lower concave curve giving a view of two overlapping flat ovals, then capped with slightly bigger oval shaped head with its longer radius lies down horizontally. The Virgin is seated on a blue-green pad. The pad gives the viewer an illusion of a soft texture pad, other than of its convex shape but has a deeper concave surface where Mary’s behind falls. The pad has decorative features: twelve circles and inside these circles are Alhambra patterns both circular and Alhambra patterns are drawn with pattern parallel from each other. The artist took much into consideration as the very fine details proves as it came to how the clothing flowed over the figures. It must have taken very much time as well as patience to engrave. From what is seen, the sculptor painstakingly carved out every single line and folds that can be formed by the garment, however the lines of the folding of her garment are very rigid thus describing it as stylistic piece of art. Mary’s shoes are pointing outward. Her garment touches and drags on the base of the sculpture. The fronts of Mary’s shins and knees are shown with downward Cassini oval patterns that makes the garment seems to be cascading, portraying that she stands, makes her seem to be alive and human like Mary’s hands are elongated and seem to be disproportionally large, especially when compared from her feet. Mary’s right hand is placed on the baby’s stomach and her left on his shin, securing him while he sits. She held her child on her lap at a small distance. She has a noticeable inner garment with robe covering her shoulder and flows down through half of her shin. She is wearing fitted sleeves inside her larger flowing sleeves, it flows down very stiff and angular which characterizes to be unrealistic. There are two rectangular carve-outs on Mary’s body; one is where her heart lies and the other on her back her left hand parallels to where her heart lies. With each of the fold and how the garment flows over the body, molding to the way the body bends in response to how the artist portrays this piece is from Romanesque period. Mary is sitting erect. Her veil is disconnected from her shoulder. The hem of her veil is positioned right above her forehead and ears, allowing space for her hair to be visible, has proportioned calligraphic lines with left and right end of her veil’s hem folded out towards the back, hair has even thinner wavy calligraphic lines and locks of hair sweep down from underneath Mary’s shawl. Mary’s neck is very short. She has an oval shaped face with almond eyes, an elongated slender nose, and unnoticeable upper lip over a larger lower lip. The lower part of her face has curves especially on the lip area with her chin pointing slightly outward. The sculptor seems to use a type of optical illusion when it...
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