Art and the Bible home » art » work by Michelangelo Buonarroti     

Michelangelo Buonarroti: Madonna with child

Michelangelo Buonarroti 1475 – 1564

Madonna with child

marble (128 cm high) — 1501 Museum Church of Our Lady, Bruges

Michelangelo Buonarroti biography

Please scroll down to read more information about this work.

Rate this work of art:

  [63 votes]

The man who would later become pope Pius III commissioned Michelangelo in 1501 to create a set of 15 sculptures for the Siena cathedral. Michelangelo accepted but soon started to argue with the commissioner and never finished the assignment. This finished sculpture was acquired in 1504 by a merchant from the prosperous Flemish city of Bruges, Jan van Moeskroen. His family gave it to the city of Bruges in 1516. It is the only work by Michelangelo that would ever reach the north-west of Europe.

This Madonna is different from most of its many predecessors because of how loosely Mary holds the child. The little one seems to be about to explore the world. Mary's gaze suggests she knows of the fate awaiting him.

Mary's oval-shaped face resembles the face of the Mary in Michelangelo's Pietą, so perhaps the master used the same model.

Page metadata

Title: Michelangelo Buonarroti: Madonna with child
Author / citation: here
First published: 27 September 2005
Last modified: 29 December 2008