Tuesday, 14 July 2015
Impressions of Bruges #9
'Looking up' in Bruges is often rewarding as there are statues and gargoyles all over the city. Many depict the Virgin Mary, with some inscribed Ave Maria. In the Church of Our Lady is the finest of them all - Michelangelo's white marble Madonna and Child (1506), which was reputedly snapped up by a Belgian merchant after the family who commissioned it in Italy failed to pay the artist. It has twice disappeared from Bruges, swiped and taken to Paris during the French Revolution and again stolen by the Nazis in WWII. It is very beautiful (even if Mary does look really sad) ... though it is displayed in a rather ugly, heavy looking altarpiece alongside some other statues which, by comparison, look quite crudely worked.