“Bridgewater Madonna” is part of a series of paintings by Rafael Santi, dedicated to the images of Madonna. The brush of the legendary artist painstakingly painted the images of the Madonna, each time trying to find, “feel” the very ideal, mysterious and unattainable.
The pursuit of the perfect image is clearly displayed in the immaculate face of Mary. Her features are refined and graceful, while at the same time femininity and tenderness contain the thoughtful and full of love for her child. Above the head of the Madonna rises a nimbus – a sign of holiness, emphasizing the divinity of Mary. She is holding a beautiful baby squirming to the left. Madonna herself leans slightly to the right, such an arrangement of two figures in the center of the canvas looks as harmonious as possible. The divergence of the characters in the picture replaces the easy concatenation of gestures. So, the baby touches the mother’s veil while she gently holds it with her right hand.
The picture stands out with intense, rich colors that give the volume of the overall composition. The intensity of the color palette emphasizes a dark background, in which the interior of the room is poorly traced: a bench and a niche with an open door. Initially, Rafael wanted to depict around the Madonna and the baby a landscape characteristic of all the Madonnas depicted on other panels, but later the artist decided to create a darkened room, giving expressiveness to the main characters of the picture and emphasizing the closeness of mother and child.
The contrast between darkness and light is so spectacularly inscribed in the picture that it can not leave anyone indifferent. It seems that among the dark room mother and child are sources of light, warmth, comfort, harmony and natural love.