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Distorting Madonna in Medieval art - James Earle

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After the destruction of Rome at the hands of Visigoths and Vandals, who had entered the boundaries of the Roman empire from the East, the interest in beauty declined. However, with the rise of Christianity, the Romans turned their attention to the metaphysical beauty of virtue, which became an inspiration for art. Medieval paintings of the Madonna came under this influence, as discussed by theĀ 
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Cimabue also known as Bencivieni di Pepo or in modern Italian, Benvenuto di Giuseppe, was a Florentine painter and creator ofmosaics.
Here's a discussion of one of Cimabue's paintings.
Duccio di Buoninsegna was one of the most influential Italian artists of his time. Born in Siena, Tuscany, he worked mostly with pigment and egg tempera and like most of his contemporaries he painted religious subject matters. He has influenced Simone Martini and the brothers Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti, among others.
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe, whose two main subgroups, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empireand the emergence of Medieval Europe.
The Middle Ages is a period of European history that lasted from the 5th until the 15th centuries. It began with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and was followed by the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the traditional division of Western history into Classical, Medieval, and Modern periods. The period is subdivided into the Early Middle Ages, the High Middle Ages, and the Late Middle Ages.
According to religious tradition, Mary was an Israelite Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee and the mother of Jesus. Among her many other names and titles in prayer are the Virgin Mary or Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and Saint Mary in Western churches, Theotokos in Orthodox Christianity, and Maryam, mother of Isa in Islam. She is identified in the New Testament [Mt 1:16,18-25] [Lk 1:26-56, 2:1-7] and in the Qur'an as the mother of Jesus through divine intervention. Christians hold her son Jesus to be Christ (i.e. the Messiah) and God the Son Incarnate, whereas Muslims regard Jesus as the Messiah and one of the most important prophets of God sent to mankind.
Art during the Middle Ages saw many changes up to the emergence of the early Renaissance period. Early art subjects were initially restricted to the production of Pietistic painting (religious art or Christian art) in the form of illuminated manuscripts, mosaics, and fresco paintings in churches. There were no portrait paintings in the art of the Middle Ages. The colors were generally somewhat muted.

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