Andy Warhol’s Details of the Renaissance Paintings: Madonna Del Duca 316A is based off of the famous Italian painter Piero della Francesca’s Brera Madonna––also known as the Pala di Brera, the Montefeltro Altarpiece or Brera Altarpiece. Francesca’s painting details a scene of the Madonna and a sleeping baby Jesus, surrounded by angels and saints. Above them is a dome, from which an ostrich egg hangs on a string. The egg is thought to symbolize Venus, who is portrayed in Warhol’s other Details of the Renaissance works. While Francesca’s original painting portrays an entire scene around the Madonna, Warhol’s print zooms in on the dome above the scene and the egg hanging above the subjects in the original piece.
PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA MADONE DEL DUCA 316A AS PART OF A LARGER BODY OF WORK
Warhol was one of the revolutionaries of his time, leading the pop art movement. With his signature technique of screenprinting, he managed to create an abundant amount of works that each held significant value. By taking a variety of subjects to create his pieces, he would transform them to have a more contemporary, pop art feel. With the creation of a pop art version of the classic Italian Renaissance painting, Brera Madonna, Warhol focuses on the symbolism within the original image in the architecture and the allusion to Venus, rather than portraying the much more iconic Madonna at the sacred conversion.
Photo credit: The Brera Madonna by Piero della Francesca, 1472. Tempera on panel, 248 cm × 150 cm (98 in × 59 in). Located in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, Italy.