Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Touching Art at the Boston MFA

By Charles Kessler

Not with your hands, silly, but touching as in affecting or poignant art that depicts touch, especially in paintings of the Virgin and Child. On a recent visit to the MFA, I took some close-up details that capture this quality; I've also linked to each work's page on the MFA website so you can view it in its entirety.
Rogier van der Weyden, Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin, c. 1435-40, oil and tempera on panel, 54 1/8 x 43 5/8 inches.
Andrea del Sarto, Virgin and Child, c. 1509-10, oil on panel, 32 1/2 x 25 3/4 inches.
Lorenzo Lotto, Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Nicholas of Tolentino, 1523-23, oil on canvas, 37 1/8 x 30 5/8 inches.
And here is a detail from probably the greatest Mannerist painting in the country. It's touching in both meanings of the word, yet it's disturbing and horrifying:
Rosso Fiorentino, The Dead Christ with Angels, c. 1524-27, oil on panel, 52 1/2 x 41 inches.
More of my visit to Boston in the next post. 

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