This work by Sandro Botticelli is also in the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence, as are many of his other paintings, especially his two great masterpieces: The Spring and The Birth of Venus.
Botticelli's Madonna of the Pomegranate
In this case we are dealing with a circular table of considerable dimensions (143 cm. in diameter) that was painted with the tempera technique around the year 1487.
Here it shows us the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus on her lap with a pomegranate in her hands. Both mother and son occupy a large part of the center of the table, while practically the rest of the surface is filled with the figures of six heavenly angels.
As usual in paintings by Botticelli these are really beautiful characters. Starting with María herself, who has a delicate face but a deep gaze with a certain melancholy tone. And if the Virgin is a beautiful woman, the same can be said of the youthful faces of the angels, some looking at the viewer, another reading, looking at each other or observing the Child with devotion.
Botticelli was aRenaissance paintercapable of drawing even the smallest detail in his paintings. The strength of his work is his portentous drawing and the beauty of the faces and their expressions is due to him, but also the careful shapes of the costumes or thedelicate lilies and roses carried by angels.
It is precisely in all those ornamental details where his style and also his immense talent can be appreciated. For example, the transparencies in some veils of the garments, the soft textures of the folds or the color contrasts that it poses are really spectacular. And all this on many occasions conceived not only from an aesthetic point of view, but also with a symbolic value, starting with the pomegranate itself that is in the hands of María and her son.
In addition, everything is integrated into a celestial atmosphere, since on the heads of the characters you can see a blue stripe that would come to represent the sky, at the top of which light arises, the so-called Empyrean from which golden rays descend to light up the characters.
In short, this table is not one of Botticelli's best known and does not represent his usual mythological scenes either, but it is certainly a painting worth seeing. And taking advantage of the fact that it is in the Ufizzi it can be compared with another panel of his with a similar theme that the same Florentine museum has: the Madonna del Magnificat.