BELLINI, Giovanni
(b. ca. 1426, Venezia, d. 1516, Venezia)

Madonna and Child

c. 1455
Tempera on panel, 72 x 46 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This grave, pensive Madonna is typical of Bellini's early half-length Madonnas. Lifting her hands in prayer, Mary looks sadly down toward the sleeping Christ, whose slumber is meant to remind the observer of his death on the cross. Mary's face is suffused by light from below - sea light of Venice reflected from canals and palaces which Bellini used even for Madonnas set in landscapes.