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Michelangelo Sculptures

Bruges Madonna by Michelangelo

This Madonna and Child, which Michelangelo created around 1504, is known as the Bruges Madonna because it was sold to a Flemish wool merchant who took it to Bruges. It is more compact, simpler, and yet somehow grander than Michelangelo's earlier Pietà. Remarkable for the gravity and beauty found in the chubby face of the Christ Child, the Bruges Madonna grouping seems small yet is comprised of life-size figures. It is evident that the child seen here was from the same model as that of the Pitti Madonna and that the two works are closely related in composition.

Michelangelo's Bruges Madonna
The beautiful Bruges Madonna by Michelangelo
(4 feet 2-1/2 inches tall) is at Notre-Dame in Bruges.

The bowed head of Mary in the Bruges Madonna, with its broad, expressive forehead, is derived from Michelangelo's earlier Pietà and conveys a stirring sense of deep and poignant acceptance. Michelangelo often used this somber tone when portraying the Madonna and Child to suggest Christ's later passion and death.

Michelangelo created another Madonna and Child around the same time as he created the Bruges Madonna. See the next section of this article for information on the Taddei Madonna.

To learn more about Michelangelo, art history, and other famous artists, see: