Monday, August 7, 2017

Madonna in the Garden - Virgin with Roses attributed to Pseudo-Pier Francesco Fiorentino (active Florence, 2nd half of the 15C)

Attributed to Pseudo-Pier Francesco Fiorentino (active Florence, second half of the 15th Century) Madonna and Child before a rose hedge

Illustrated manuscripts and early depictions of landscapes in portrayals of Biblical gardens give us a glimpse of gardens symbolic, familiar & imagined during those periods. Here the Virgins before background screens of roses, suggesting metaphorical associations with the paradise bower of the Song of Songs. The rose is a symbol that has a complex symbolism and an ancient history. In the Christian religion, like the cross, it can have paradoxical meanings. It is at once a symbol of purity and a symbol of passion, heavenly perfection and earthly passion; virginity and fertility; death and life. In Catholic symbolism, the red rose is a symbol of Martyrdom, while the white rose is a symbol of purity since the earliest years of the Church. Virgin Mary is called a 'rose without thorns,' because she was exempt from Original Sin. In Renaissance art, a garland of roses is often an allusion to the Rosary of the Virgin.