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Unknown Painter, Portrait of Madonna with child, circa 1700.

The Painting

Madonna with child (circa 1700). Italian School.
Oil on canvas
Border zone doubled
Craquelure with retouching in the border area
50 x 40 cm

The History

A Madonna (Italian: [maˈdɔnna]) is a representation of Mary, either alone or with her child Jesus. These images are central icons for both the Catholic and Orthodox churches. The word is from Italian ma donna, meaning 'my lady'. The Madonna and Child type is very prevalent in Christian iconography, divided into many traditional subtypes especially in Eastern Orthodox iconography, often known after the location of a notable icon of the type, such as the Theotokos of VladimirAgiosoritissaBlachernitissa, etc., or descriptive of the depicted posture, as in HodegetriaEleusa, etc.

The term Madonna in the sense of "picture or statue of the Virgin Mary" enters English usage in the 17th century, primarily in reference to works of the Italian Renaissance. In an Eastern Orthodox context, such images are typically known as Theotokos. "Madonna" may be generally used of representations of Mary, with or without the infant Jesus, is the focus and central figure of the image, possibly flanked or surrounded by angels or saints. Other types of Marian imagery have a narrative context, depicting scenes from the Life of the Virgin, e.g. the Annunciation to Mary, are not typically called "Madonna". (in Wikipedia)

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