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“The Madonna of Bruges” is the only work of Michelangelo that left Italy during his lifetime, going to the Notre Dame church in Bruges - the town by whose name she received the name. It is made of stone, its height is 128 centimeters, and the sculptor, working on it, was clearly guided not by church canons.
Usually, in the images of Mary and the Baby, Mary presses him to her, as if wanting to hide from the world and future fate - at least for a while. Here she holds the child relaxed, just sitting between her knees and holding with one hand, while she looks a little to the side, becoming interested in something else.
Perhaps he thinks of something earthly, simple, like thoughts of how much a bunch of greens you need to buy for soup, and maybe the future of the son is seeing, but knowing her inevitability does not grieve for her and does not try to prevent her, but simply looking at the expression on her face, thoughtful and sad.
Little Christ, like the curly one in all the images, also does not look like his usual image. As a rule, he is portrayed younger, just a kid, not yet learning how to walk.
Here he is about two years old, and he shows interest in the world around him. Curiosity is felt in his eyes. In the way he gently slides, trying to reach the floor with his foot, one can see the usual children's trick, which consists in the imaginary invisibility of the maneuver. He does not look like God, just like his mother does not look like a woman who has given birth to God, but like an ordinary child, keen on something and wanting to catch and consider something.
The world is waiting for him, earthly, breathing, alive and real, and only his mother’s hand makes him sit still, not running away and not plunging fully into ordinary children's amusements, such as games in the sand or with peers.
However, despite the liberties, the church accepted the work of the master favorably.
Moonlit Night on the Bosphorus