The1 - making the picture more self-referential while a...

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The Tondo or Round Format Slide 37: Madonna of the Pomegranate, Sandro Botticelli, 1487. Arnheim p. 77. A round painting is often called a tondo. The tondo was also called a Desco da Parto, or Painting on a platter. If the center was more important for the square than for the rectangle, it is even more important for the circle where all points on the circle are equidistant from that center. So its not surprising that a microtheme located near the center is more common in the Tondo than in the square. Another characteristic of the circular form is detachment. We have seen that one purpose of a frame is to define a picture as a closed entity, separate from its surroundings; a world of its own. According to Arnheim, a round frame does this best because it strengthens the center,
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Unformatted text preview: making the picture more self-referential, while a rectangular or square frame does it less well because its sides strengthen the reference to the vertical and horizontal of the outside world. This detachment makes the tondo a natural choice for a religious picture. Its separation from the secular and vulgar makes it the all-time favorite format for the Madonna. In the Madonna of the Pomegranate the Christ child's head is near the center. This formal placement already makes him appear the ruler. The microtheme here is in the upraised hand in blessing, and the handling of the pomegranate, like an orb of power. This clearly give the child a dominant position....
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