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The Madonna of the Meadow, Oil by Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516, Italy)
Madonna of the Meadow is a 1505 painting of the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child by Giovanni Bellini, now in the National Gallery in London. Originally painted as oil and egg tempera on wood, it has since been transferred to canvas, with damage in places. It presents a medieval iconography of the Virgin of humility seated before a full and shining rural panorama, with both the devotional aspect and the landscape aspect given equal prominence. Full of small details of everyday life, this landscape contributes to the intimate and familiar tone of the two figures. The vulture in the tree also possibly symbolizes death. The figures' poses invite meditation on Jesus's death and passion, recalling Pietà compositions with the dead adult Jesus in his mother's lap.