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Madonna and Child

            During the 15th and 16th century, there were many household items that served a function in the Renaissance. In particular, the Madonna and Child images in the Renaissance household served two purposes during this period: a religious and an educational (behavioral) purpose. Inventories tell us that many bedrooms in a Renaissance household had either paintings or statues of the Madonna and Child. (Welch pg. 307) Madonna and Child in a Landscape by Bagnacavallo is an example that would be present in a typical Renaissance household. This painting shows the Virgin Mary holding Jesus, with a mountainous landscape. The Virgin Mary is looking affectionately at her first born. Christ is looking off to the side with his right hand on Mary's breast. Christ seems to be standing on a wooden board with his right foot pivoted towards the viewer. Also, Christ is holding a pomegranate in his left hand. .
             According to the Dominican preacher Giovanni Dominici, he states that pictures are a way for "illiterate children to learn about Christian life and behavior." (Welch pg. 307) Usually, the pose and gesture of the Virgin and Christ are used to suggest different relationships between the two. In this particular painting there is an obvious affection between the Virgin and her son. She gazes at him affectionately and also supports Christ on his bottom, which is very common for mothers to do. Christ shows his affection as well, holding the right breast of his mother. The function of the pomegranate in Christ's hand is also very important. It serves an important religious and an educational function as a symbol of immortality and resurrection, which foreshadows what Christ will do later in his life. The pomegranate teaches the viewer about the importance of symbols which would improve the religious knowledge, which was extremely important at this time. .

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