Madonna and child with a spinning wheel in the form of a cross - Luis de Morales.
The Spanish artist Luis de Morales is known, first of all, as a bright representative of mannerism, who has his own style and the rarest originality. The canvases of Morales are overwhelmingly religious in nature, while having a very pronounced imprint of Spanish folk culture. This is expressed in a special pictorial manner: biblical images are modernized, elongated graceful faces are realistic in expressing mournful feelings, and gestures are soft and lack sharpness.
One of the most famous paintings of Luis de Morales is considered to be “Madonna and Child with a spinning wheel in the shape of a cross” - in it you can also notice a bizarre mixture of folk beliefs and Christian traditions. The canvas depicts the Virgin, holding the baby Jesus on her lap. A spinning wheel created in the form of a wooden cross is visible in the baby’s right handle, while the left one holds the small spindle firmly. Spindles, as well as spinning wheels from pagan times, were revered as the most important symbols of life and the spinning of human destinies. The eyes of Jesus are fixed on the spinning wheel, and in this clean, smart, calm look, a deep understanding of the responsibility assigned to him for humanity is read. The spinning wheel in the form of a cross and spindle, in this context, symbolizes the conscious spinning of the thread of life and the humble acceptance of one's fate by Jesus Christ.
Maria’s face, on the contrary, expresses a whole gamut of conflicting feelings. In facial expressions, you can notice a number of emotions: from maternal love to sincere grief and sadness. Eyebrows are mournfully raised, eyes are full of alarm for the son, and the corners of an ajar mouth are tragically lowered. The depth and importance of the moment is emphasized by the muffled, gloomy color palette of the picture - only transparent images of the Mother of God and baby Jesus emit a barely visible glow, contrasting with the surrounding dark background.