Madonna of Humility
Set against a gold , the sit enclosed in a frame with pointed arches and decorative twisting columns. In this single image, Guariento di Arpo combined three traditional pictorial representations of the Virgin. She sits on the ground nursing the infant as the , a representation that emphasizes her role as the compassionate, maternal intercessor for all who pray for Christ's mercy. At the same time, her crown points to her role as the . Finally, identified by the golden sun-brooch at her breast and the incised rays that emanate from her, she personifies the apocalyptic woman from the twelfth chapter of the biblical Book of Revelation. Above, a golden aureole of celestial light encloses the blessing figure of God the Father.
Tempera and gold leaf on panel (about 1345-1350)
by Guariento di Arpo (Italian, active 1338-1367/1370)
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