Paintings and Poetry: Madonna of the Rabbit by Titian (1530)

The painter is drawing a comparison:
To hold the child in your hand
Is like taking a rabbit in your hand
The child’s heart and it’s sinew

Until he is grown with large legs
His old soul is yet in the child’s body
His journey of life depicted in art
There are periods in his life and story


The painter is likening the child’s heart to a rabbit, the white cloth the child is wrapped in is the colour of the rabbit. There are different shades of white and creamy colours, denoting a kind of richness of meaning. The gestures of the child and the man in the background are both united in their dramatic impact. It gives us a sense of the child perhaps being a soul, that he might have already known what it was to be a man in a previous life, if you believe that sort of thing. Fundamentally, the child has a mountain behind him denoting his real origin is from the universe, as a soul. It’s pretty unique to a lot of paintings and depictions of Jesus. It seems like the two women are receiving the child, Jesus Christ, as if he came to the earth descended to the earth, which is echoed in  by the man, who is sitting down.


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