Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Madonna and Child
The Madonna and Child is one of the central icons of Christianity. In the usual formula the Virgin Mary sits with the Infant Jesus on her lap, or enfolded in her arms. In earlier representations the Virgin is enthroned, and the Child may be fully aware, raising his hand to offer blessing. In a 15th century Italian variation, a baby John the Baptist looks on.
Late Gothic sculptures of the Virgin and Child may show a standing virgin with the child in her arms. Iconography varies between public images and private images supplied on a smaller scale and meant for personal devotion in the chamber: the Virgin suckling the Child is an image largely confined to private devotional icons.
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