Our Lady of the Eucharist

Our Lady of the Eucharist
Our Lady of the Eucharist

Perhaps the most outstanding artistic production of the painter Sandro Boticelli are his paintings with mythological themes, but in addition to these pieces the painter made a good number of paintings with religious themes, many of which show the influence of contemporary artists on Boticelli. The characters of the Italian painter are friendly and close to the viewer, inviting them to take comfort in tenderness and delight in contemplating the painting.

Sandro Boticelli (1445 – 1510) is one of the most prominent artists of the Quattrocento Renaissance aesthetic. Born in Florence, Boticelli was the fourth son of a tanner and it seems that he may have been raised by one of his older brothers from whom he adopted the nickname Boticelli. The artist must have received a careful education until he was fourteen years old -a fact that will leave a great mark on his paintings- and later he must have trained as a goldsmith in the workshop of one of his brothers. But Sandro's vocation was painting and for this reason he decided to enter under the orders of one of the most outstanding artists of his time, Fray Filippo Lippi, who inherited the friendly cut of his figures, the calm moldingand linear and a certain Gothic taste that can be seen above all in the details of his first panels. Botticelli acquired great fame during his lifetime and worked for some of the most important noblemen and patrons of his time, we should especially highlight the works for theMedici family to whom he dedicated a large part of his pieces.


The work that concerns us here is known as Virgin of the Eucharist or Virgin with Child and an angel; it is a work done in tempera on board with a vertical format – the piece is about eighty-five centimeters high and sixty-five wide – and it is currently in the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum in Boston, United States. According to art historians, the piece must have been painted around the year 1470 or 1472, at a time when the artist painted numerous religious-themed panels with the Virgin and Child and in which se you can appreciate the influence of Filippo Lippi in the composition. As in Lippi's work Maria con el Niño y Ángel, Boticelli has represented an endearing scene in which the Virgin holds her Son with great tenderness while they are accompanied by an angel. In Boticelli's work, he holds a bunch of grapes and some ears of wheat, hence the name Virgin of the Eucharist in relation to the miracle of transubstantiation.

In the background of the composition you can see a classicist architecture with a large window through which you can see a landscape with a meandering river. Special mention deserves the transparencies that the artist has represented with great success in the head veil that the Virgin reveals her hair through the transparent fabric.

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