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The Portinari Altarpiece - Essay Example

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This essay discusses a religious painting prepared by Hugo Van Der Goes. The painting represents the Holy Family and Adoration of the Shepherds referencing the Biblical chronicle in Luke, is regarded as an influential piece in the 15th Century Christian art…
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The Portinari Altarpiece
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The Portinari Altarpiece

Download file to see previous pages... There are various subjects in the painting as on the left is Tommaso Partinari, Saint Thomas, and Anthony Abbot, while the two sons of Tomasso, Pigello, and Antonio are kneeling down. The right panel holds the images of Maria Maddalena Portinari, the wife of Tomasso and their eldest child, Margherita and alongside them is Saint Margaret of Antioch and Mary Magdalene. At the center of the art piece, Jesus is laying on the ground while shepherds and angels are kneeling before Him (Levy, Macy & Van, 2012).
At the center of the art piece, there are various objects and elements with symbolic importance as well as emblematic figures. The central panel represents the Adoration of Christ as it depicts Mary in a deep prayer showing her acceptance of what her child will persevere as the savior of humanity. Consequently, the Holy Family is revealed in Bethlehem in a manger with shepherds, animals, and angels as Baby Jesus lies on the ground surrounded by an array of golden light. In the foreground, there are two urns of flowers and wheat that represent the Passion and Eucharist (Ridderbos, Hagopian, & McCormick, 2005). The wheat represents the Last Supper where Jesus severed the bread. The white lilies characterizing the smaller vase embody the immaculate and purity conception of Christ while the orange ones represent Christ’s “Passion” in his later life. Consequently, the second vase holds columbine and purple flowers that correspond to the “Seven Sorrows of the Virgin.” In the backdrop of the left pane, Joseph and pregnant Mary are seen escaping to Egypt, while the background in central panel; angels visit the Shepherds and on the right, the Three Magi are on their way to Bethlehem (Kleiner, 2012). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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