The Virgin Nursing the Child Albrecht Durer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The Virgin Nursing the Child is considerably simpler than another related drawing by Durer that was titled as The Madonna and Child with a Music-making Angel.

The Madonna in this drawing does not look as beautiful as in the related piece but there does seem a stronger bond between mother and child. Both drawings hold Durer's traditional signature of a capital A with a D inside. It is instantly recognisable as his own work as most artists would simply sign their name in their own handwriting rather than create a new symbol.

There is no white heightening in this drawing, with the artist leaving areas untouched for where he wanted the image of light to appear. As such, it is the right hand side which attracts most strokes of pen, creating a dark shadow on that side. There is a casual flow to her hair and the artist also adds considerable amounts of detail to her jewellery and swathes of clothing.

The iconic themes of Christianity persist throughout the Renaissance and Baroque periods put were seen more in the work of Botticelli, such as with his paintings including Madonna of the Pomegranate, Madonna del Padiglione, Madonna of the Rose Garden and Madonna of the Magnificat.

During this period of art history most of the wealth of Europe was linked to the Church or the ruling monarchies, meaning most commissions would come from either of these two groups. The latter would normally request self-indulgent portraits from which to adapt how future generations might view them and their legacies. Religious institutions would tend to request biblical themes in art form, be it sculptures or frescoes.