It is not often that I come across an ancient treasure such as this exceptional painting. Remarkable and poignant in its serene beauty this outstanding Madonna is exquisitely painted on a copper plate. It is a work of an anonymous master of arts painted with fine artistry and talent that still after so many centuries radiates with spellbinding beauty and splendour.
Created during the 1500’s it originates from the Flemish school that flourished from the early 15th until the 17th century. Flanders delivered the leading painters in Northern Europe and attracted many promising young painters from other countries. The flemish painters were invited to work at foreign courts and had an Europe-wide influence. Since the end of the Napoleonic era, these painters have again been achieved a reputation like the one that had been set by the Old Masters.
It takes my breath away - literally - just holding such rare treasure in my hands while hardly being able to even wrap my mind around its impressive age of five hundred years. We come and go, yet such astounding works of art survive for many centuries. It is miraculous really considering the turmoil of history with all the endless wars, among others the World Wars One and Two, the Thirty Years' War as well as the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars etc.
It is this survival that astonishes me. I can’t help but ask myself is it because of its devotional subject that it has been protected by divine intervention? Is it because of its profound beauty that made its previous owners protect it, hide it, treasure it? Or is it because great art is meant to remain alive so that it can be admired forever?
For me, true beauty is profound and perhaps holds a protective power that is timeless. And maybe it is lasting because it gives us hope for a brighter future and an optimistic reality we all dream of and desire.
Predrag, July 20