The Madonna in Pregnancy
The Madonna’s hand rests on the curve of her belly as she stands, gowned in heavy, blue brocade. Beneath the halo, her face looks weary, vulnerable: An extraordinary woman caught in an ordinary moment; she’s tired, and her back aches. See how the painter shows her hand pressed into the curve of her spine, as she stands and stretches. Ah, but you know what it’s like, now.
She has been sewing too long; setting each stitch carefully, choosing the colours, building a picture stitch by stitch, umber and olive green and ochre buff and tawny; the winter landscape, that tree, its branches slender and bare, yet burnished with fruit: in impossible season bearing.
Those moments when she pauses, looks out of the window or stands, as now to stretch her body, those moments are so full. What does she see? Not the valley, the hills framing the view.
Moments caught between past and future, having a needle sharpness, set against the earthen landscape. Now, here, suspended in time, before and after, everything that we know: the story too familiar to be real. Now, she is just a woman tired with waiting, whose back aches.
In response to ‘Madonna Del Parto’ by Piero della Francesca