Head of the Virgin (Pittoni)

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Head of the Virgin
Italian: La Testa della Vergine, French: La Tête de Vierge
See adjacent text.
ArtistGiambattista Pittoni
Yearc. 1730
TypeOil on poplar
Dimensions110 cm × 89 cm (44 in × 35 in)
LocationMusée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg, Strasbourg

Head of the Virgin (also known as La Tête de Vierge or La Testa della Vergine) is a 18th-century portrait painted in oil by Giambattista Pittoni, made around 1730, during the Rococo in Venice, Italy, exhibited at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg.[1] Many people[2] Think Head of the Virgin's eyes glance is mysterious, as at the time it was not portrayed with a low gaze.

Description[change | change source]

The remote pictorial touch, the delicate palette, are typical Pittoni characteristics. The work is the detail of the great painting that can be found in the National Gallery in London titled «The Nativity with God the Father and the Holy Spirit». The painting could be a cover created for sale by Pittoni or a preparatory sketch (The Croquis) for the altarpiece as for the similar work from Berlin.

«The Nativity with God the Father and the Holy Spirit», from the National Gallery in London.

Interpretation[change | change source]

The closed eyes that look down, for the time, a unique and rare representation of the Madonna, which is also repeated in the Pittoni The Nativity with God the Father and the Holy Ghost of the London National Gallery museum.

It is possible that Pittoni looks for further mystical strength in it, exasperating the interpretation of the critic Alexander Nagel on Leonardo da Vinci's "Head of a Woman" in which "the eyes do not focus on any outward object, and they give the impression that they will remain where they are: they see through the filter of an inner state, rather than receive immediate impressions from the outside world. It is the attitude of being suspended in a state of mind beyond specific thought—unaware, even, of its own body...here an inner life is suggested by a new order of pictorial effects, without recourse to action or narrative."[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Tête de Vierge, Giovanni Battista Pittoni, Fiche du musée de Strasbourg.
  2. Franca Zava Boccazzi: Pittoni, Mondadori Electa, 1979, ISBN 884351220X
  3. Fried, Michael (2010). The Moment of Caravaggio. Princeton University Press. p. 73. Leonardo La Scapigliata.

Other websites[change | change source]