Category: The Madonna

  • The Deposition

    THE DEPOSITION is properly that moment which succeeds the DESCENT from the Cross ; when the dead form of Christ is deposed or laid upon the ground, resting on the lap of his Mother, and lamented by St. John, the Magdalene, and others. The ideal and devotional form of this subject, styled a Pietà, may […]

  • The Entombment

    The ENTOMBMENT follows, and when treated as a strictly historical scene, the Virgin Mother is always introduced, though here as a less conspicuous figure, and one less important to the action. Either she swoons, which is the ancient Greek conception : or she follows, with streaming eyes and clasped hands, the pious disciples who bear […]

  • Three Figures

    The group of three figures most commonly met with is that of the Mother and Child with St. John. One of the earliest examples of the domestic treatment of this group is a quaint picture by Botticelli, in which Mary, bending down, holds forth the Child to be caressed by St. John—very dry in color, […]

  • Four Figures

    In a Holy Family of four figures, we have frequently the Virgin, the Child, and the Infant St. John, with St. Joseph standing by. Raphael’s Madonna del Passeggio is an example. In a picture by Palma Vecchio, St. John presents a lamb, while St. Joseph kneels before the Infant Christ, who, seated on his mother’s […]

  • Five or Six Figures

    The addition of Joseph, as a fifth figure, completes the domestic group. The introduction of the aged Zacharias renders, however, yet more full and complete, the circle of human life and human affection. We have, then, infancy, youth, maturity, and age, — difference of sex and various degrees of relationship, combined into one harmonious whole […]

  • The Family of the Virgin Together

    In a composition by Parmigiano, Christ is standing at his mother’s knee ; Elizabeth presents St. John the Baptist; the other little St. John kneels on a cushion. Behind the Virgin are St. Joachim and St. Anna ; and behind Elizabeth, Zebedee and Mary Salome, the parents of St. John the Evangelist. In the centre, […]

  • The Carpenter’s Shop

    It is distinctly related, that Joseph brought up his foster Son as a carpenter, and that Jesus exercised the craft of his reputed father. In the Church pictures we do not often meet with this touching and familiar aspect of the life of our Saviour. But in the small decorative pictures painted for the rich […]

  • Infant Christ Learning to Read

    As if to render the circle of maternal duties, and thereby the maternal example, more complete, there are prints of Mary leading her Son to school. I have seen one in which he carries his horn-book in his hand. Such representations, though popular, were condemned by the highest church authorities as nothing less than heretical. […]

  • Dispute in the Temple

    Ital. La Disputa nel Tempio. Fr. Jésus au milieu des Docteurs. The subject which we call the dispute in the Temple, or ” Christ among the Doctors,” is a scene of great importance in the life of the Redeemer. (Luke ii. 41-52.) His appearance in the midst of the doctors, at twelve years old, when […]

  • The Virgin Without the Child – The Virgin Mary

    THERE are representations of the Virgin, and among them some of the earliest in existence, which place her before us as an object of religious veneration, but in which the predominant idea is not that of her maternity. No doubt it was as the mother of the Saviour Christ that she was originally venerated ; […]