Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Parallel leanings

Beautiful altarpiece by Flemish artist Rogier van der Weyden...Flemish artists were ahead of their time...the Italians were known for the high art of the Renaissance, but ten to twenty years prior, the Dutch were creating masterpieces of realism injected with great emotion...

This piece formally refers to the parallel emotional plight between Jesus and Mary, both in the same basic leaning pose...arms almost touching...Jesus traditionally splits the canvas in symmetry...he is the focus and lord God as prescribed by the donor...the gaze of those attending are very important in religious works, they act like visual lasers, forcing the viewer around the picture plane, we want to see what each character sees in the narrative.

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