Art Analysis Essay

Words: 933
Pages: 4

Art Analysis The Merode Altarpiece, a piece by artist Robert Campin, is a representation of the Annunciation of Christ. The piece was originally painted in Flanders during the Early Renaissance period in 1425. It is a considerably small altarpiece, commissioned for a private residence, created with oil on wood panel. The piece is currently held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The scene depicted in this particular altarpiece is very popular among artists during the Renaissance and the detailed representation captured by Robert Campin made it one of his most famous works of art. The subjects depicted in the piece are the Virgin Mary, an angel, Joseph, and also the donors who commissioned the painting. The main subject …show more content…
The Virgin Mary is seen sitting on the floor, which is a symbol of her humility, and a light falls upon her lap, a symbol of her connection with God and her virginity. A small figure of Christ is shown floating in on rays of light through a closed window carrying a cross over his shoulder to symbolize the salvation of mankind, and also emphasizes Mary’s connection with God and her “virginal nature”. Yet another symbol of Mary’s purity is the vase of lilies on the table beside her. The presence of the Holy Spirit is represented by the candle that has been extinguished in the center of the room, while the presence of God is represented by the single lit candle above the fireplace. The mousetraps in Joseph’s shop represent the trap set by God to catch Satan and the drainboard he is making is used to make wine, a symbol of Christ. There are many other possible symbols within the painting; Campin was well known to use iconography often in many of his pieces. There are an overwhelming number of paintings by many different artists from the Renaissance period, however the Merode Altarpiece seems to stand out among the rest. The piece originally created as a modest home altarpiece is what essentially began Campin’s career as a distinguished artist and is an impressive display of his talents. Robert Campin’s interpretation and representation of the Annunciation of Christ will undisputedly continue to be highly appreciated within the