Visual Analysis of Bartolomeo Passerotti

Published: 2021-06-29 07:04:10
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The Coronation of the Virgin with Saints Luke, Dominic and John the Evangelist
c 1580, was an oil on canvas creation of Bartolomeo Passerotti, an Italian painter from Bologna. The viewer's eye is deliberately drawn to the centre of the painting where the Virgin is being elevated to heaven above by six beautifully plump naked angels. Passerotti's use of colour and light draw the viewer's attention upward to the events unfolding before our eyes, witnessed by the saints below. The centre section is highlighted by the use of various shades of grey and white clouds and the pastel tone of the angel's bodies and wings. Various shades of radiant gold above Mary's head and between the images of Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Holy Father further draw attention to the top of the painting. There is an emphasis upon the three incandescent crowns held by the Holy Trinity, which emphasis that they are a significant element of the depicted narrative. The use of softer hues creates an uplifting feel, which is sharply contrasted to darker, heavier, earthy tones used in the lower section of the image representing earth. There are three triangle formations, firstly created by the saints, then by the Holy Trinity and finally an inverted triangle with Mary, Jesus and The Holy Father. There is a great difference in the use of space. The Saints are compact and seem to be overlapping. This is contrasted to the more spacious atmosphere from heaven above. Also present is the use of chiaroscuro, this is seen in manner which the eagle is painted. Another aid in directing the viewer's gaze pertains to the orientation of the painting, since it is on a horizontal orientation the viewer's eyes are naturally drawn upward. Since this is an altarpiece, the painting would have been elevated above eye level further adding to the dramatic affect, thus resulting in the creating a feeling that one was looking upwards to heaven, and thus further adding to the inspiring of a sense of awe. Yet there is also a sense of exclusion imposed upon the spectator. This exclusion is seen in the context of the gaze of the participants. It is only St Luke, St. Dominic and the ox, are actually looking back to the viewer, their gaze does not to inviting the viewer to participate in the events occurring above, but seems to drawing attention to various items that they hold. In the case of St Dominic, both his hands are in an upward position holding rosary beads in each hand, which is symbolic to him. St Luke is holding up a book with a quill pointing to a specific passage. It is also interesting to note that nobody on earthly realm seems to have their eyes fixated on the events occurring above. Mary's gaze is downwards she looks quite humble and is dressed not dressed in elaborate robes, but quite simply in her traditional blue and red tunic and veil. There are no jewels placed upon her, as might be seen in an image of the coronation of an earthly queen. The only people looking directly at Mary are Jesus,

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