Artibus et Historiae no. 40 (XX)

1999, ISSN 0391-9064

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RONA GOFFEN - Mary's Motherhood According to Leonardo and Michelangelo

Leonardo's Virgin Mother is always solicitous; Michelangelo's is inattentive. In several images, moreover, most notably in the Doni Tondo, Michelangelo masculinizes the Virgin Mary. Michelangelo's works seem introspective and self-referential; Leonardo is far less personally engaged than Michelangelo in analyzing Mary's motherhood and in conse­quence more traditional in his Marian imagery. Leonardo is intrigued by the individualized Child, whereas Michelangelo is equally obsessed with the Mother, and her separation from her Child. Michelangelo's Madonna is the antithesis of Leonardo's, in physique, physiognomy, and psychology.

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