Contemporary Iconography: Madonna
Riya Yadav, INN/Gwalior, @infodeaofficial
The figure of Madonna is one of the most easily recognizable; most frequently produced images in the history of art. The word Madonna is derived from the Italian word ‘Madonna’, or ‘my lady’ which is used to describe Mary, the mother of Christ.
The most well-known examples of The Madonna and Child were completely by Italian painter Raphael, who moved from his native painter Raphael, who moved from his native Urbino to Florence at the turn of the 16th century.
Throughout her career, the artist created more the 30 paintings of The Madonna and Child, for devotional panels and commercial sales, as well as gifts for friends, including one wedding present.
Her representations are considered among the most reverential and graceful of Mary and Jesus.
Central to religious art and iconography, depictions of the Virgin Mary date back to the 2nd century. The earliest known representation of the Virgin is in a wall painting in the Catacomb of Priscilla, in Rome.
Yet it wasn’t until AD 431 when the council of Ephesus officially designated Mary as the “Mother of God “that she was given a prominent place of church altar decorations.
Later depictions express a more tender, intimate moment between a mother and her child, which departs from more traditional religious elements featured in prior Byzantine art.
In such representations, Mary is holding her baby tenderly, stylistically, a unifying theme between all variations is Mary‘s dress; she is always depicted in a red robe with a blue mantle.
The colors are meant to signify the earth and an empress like divinity, respectively.
Devotional images experienced a decline in both demand and popularity after the 18th century, though their importance in Byzantine and religious art history remain.
To the day, these images -paintings, drawings, and sculptures often appear at auction and are still central to the iconography of Christianity.
Freeman is currently inviting consignments fine art for its February 27 auction of “European Art 400 years. “Suitable consignments include European paintings, works on paper and sculpture for the late 15th century to the early 20th century.