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The "Madonna with a Long Neck" is far from both academicism and the canons of icon painting. In fact, she opposes all the canons. On it, Mary holds the sleeping baby Christ in her arms, but the color of his body and how relaxed it bends looks like the baby is dead or sleeps in lethargic dreams. This was done on purpose, a hint of future death - a theme that does not bypass a single image of Mary and the baby. The Mother of God is dressed in unexpectedly rich clothes.
Her blond hair was removed with pearls and gold, her face does not express confusion and not longing for future suffering, but pleasure. Maria is young and her child is sleeping in her arms - something that does not please her on the icons is enough reason for joy here. Next to her is a crowd of young boys and girls, one of them is holding a vessel - an alchemical symbol of the beginning of everything, conception, which combines life and death in the picture. To the left of Mary sings the praise of the Immaculate Conception of St. Jerome, the columns go up, not supporting anything, adding to the picture of surrealism.
It is also surprising how all the characters are depicted. Parmigianino portrayed human heads with great pleasure and no less skill. Faces, even if they seem a little elongated, look proportionate and beautiful.
However, it seemed to him that the elongation of the bodies and members also showed beauty, because the picture bears the seal of surrealism, which is added to it by the long neck of the Madonna, the arms and legs of the others that go nowhere, the column lost in the top and the strange disproportion of the figure of Jerome - he It looks very small, although it does not stand too far.
It is also interesting that the elongation of everything and the column going nowhere are only a symbol of mankind's eternal striving for perfection - and its eternal unattainability.