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PREFACE ...,. 






MENT 118 




BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . ,210 



GIORGIONE Madonna of Castelfranco 

Parish Churchy Castelfranco. 


JACOPO BELLINI . . . Madonna and Child , . . 27 

Venice A cademy. 
GABRIEL MAX .... Madonna and Child . . . 33 

PERUGINO . . . , , Madonna and Saints. (De- 
tail.) 43 

Vatican Gallery ^ Rome. 

GIOVANNI BELLINI . . Madonna of San Zaccaria. 

(Detail.) 51 

Church of San Zticcaria, Venice. 

VERONESE Madonna and Saints ... 57 

Venice A cademy* 

QUENTIN MASSYS . . Madonna and Child . . . 61 
Berlin Gallery, 

FRA ANGELICO . . . Madonna della Stella . . 67 

Monastery of San Marco, Florence. 

UMBRIAN SCHOOL , . Glorification of the Virgin . 71 

National Gallery > London. 

MORETTO Madonna in Glory .... 75 

Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Verona. 



SPANISH SCHOOL . . . Madonna on the Crescent 

Moon ....... 83 

Dresden Gallery. 

BOUGUEREAU . . . Madonna of the Angels . . 87 
RAPHAEL Madonna in the Meadow . 95 

Belvedere Gallery, Vienna. 

LEONARDO DA VINCI . Madonna of the Rocks . . 101 

National Gallery, London. 

PALMA VECCHIO . . . Santa Conversazione . . . 109 
Belvedere Gallery, Vienna. 

FILIPPINO LIPPI . . . Madonna in a Rose Garden 113 
Pvtti Gallery, Florence. 

SCHONGAUER .... Holy Family 119 

Belvedere Gallery, Vienna. 

RAPHAEL Madonna dell' Impannata . 1 23 

Pitti Gallery, Florence. 

CORRSGGIO Madonna della Scala . . . 139 

Parma Gallery. 

TITIAN Madonna and Saints. (De- 
tail.) 143 

Belvedere Galleryt Vienna. 

DflRER Madonna and Child , . . 151 

Belvedere Gallery > Vienna. 

BODENHAUSEN . . . . Madonna and Child . . . 155 
Private Gallery, Washington, D, C. 

ANDREA DELIA ROBBIA. Madonna in Adoration . . 165 

National Museum, Florence, 

LORENZO DT CREDI . . Nativity 169 

Uffizi Gallery, Florence. 

FILIPPO LIPPI . . . . Madonna in Adoration . . 175 
Uffizi Gallery, Florence. 



LUIGI VIVARINI . . . Madonna and Child . 179 
Church, of the Redentore> Venice. 

GIOVANNI BELLINI . . Madonna between St. George 

and St. Paul. (Detail.) 189 
Venice A cademy. 

LUINI Madonna with St. Barbara 

and St. Anthony . . . 193 
Brer a Gallery, Milan. 

BOTTICELLI Madonna of the Pomegran- 
ate 197 

Ujfizi Gallery, Florence. 

MURILLO ...... Madonna and Child . . . 201 

Pitti Gallery, Florence. 

RAPHAEL Sistine Madonna . . * . 205 

Dresden Gallery. 


^T^HIS little book is intended as a 
companion volume to " Child-Life in 
Art," and is a study of Madonna art as a 
revelation of motherhood. With the his- 
torical and legendary incidents in the life 
of the Virgin it has nothing to do. These 
subjects have been discussed compre- 
hensively and finally in Mrs. Jameson's 
splendid work on the " Legends of the 
Madonna." Out of the great mass of 
Madonna subjects are selected, here, only 
the idealized and devotional pictures of 
the Mother and Babe. The methods of 
classifying such works are explained in 
the Introduction. 

Great pains have been taken to choose 
as illustrations, not only the pictures which 


are universal favorites, but others which 
are less widely known and not easily 

The cover was designed by Miss Isa- 
belle A. Sinclair, in the various colors 
appropriate to the Virgin Mary. The 
lily is the Virgin's flower, la fleur de 
Marie, the highest symbol of her purity. 
The gold border surrounding the panel 
is copied from the ornamentation of the 
mantle worn by Botticelli's Dresden Ma- 

New Bedford, Mass., May, 1897. 


TT is now about fifteen centuries since 
s the Madonna with her Babe was first 
introduced into art, and it is safe to say 
that, throughout all this time, the sub- 
ject has been unrivalled in popularity. 
Jt requires no very profound philosophy 
to discover the reason for this. The 
Madonna is the universal type of mother- 
hood, a subject which, in its very nature, 
appeals to all classes and conditions of 
people. No one is too ignorant to under- 
stand it, and none too wise to be su- 
perior to its charm. The little child 
appreciates it as readily as the old man, 
and both, alike, are drawn to it by an ir- 
resistible attraction. Thus, century after 


century, the artist has poured out his soul 
in this all-prevailing theme of mother love 
until we have an accumulation of Ma- 
donna pictures so great that no one would 
dare to estimate their number. It would 
seem that every conceivable type was long 
since exhausted; but the end is not yet. 
So long as we have mothers, art will con- 
tinue to produce Madonnas. 

With so much available material, the 
student of Madonna art would be discour- 
aged at the outset were it not possible 
to approach the subject systematically. 
Even the vast number of Madonna pic- 
tures becomes manageable when studied 
by some method of classification. Several 
plans are possible. The historical student 
is naturally guided in his grouping by the 
periods in which the pictures were pro- 
duced ; the critic, by the technical schools 
which they represent Besides these more 
scholarly methods, are others, founded on 


simpler and more obvious dividing lines. 
Such are the two proposed in the follow- 
ing pages, forming, respectively, Part I. 
and Part II. of our little volume. 

The first is based on the style of com- 
position in which the picture is painted; 
the second, on the subject which it treats. 
The first examines the mechanical ar- 
rangement of the figures ; the second asks, 
A hat is the real relation between them? 
The first deals with external characteris- 
tics; the second, with the inner signifi- 

Proceeding by the first, we ask, what 
are the general styles of treatment in 
which Madonna pictures have been ren- 
dered ? The answer names the following 
five classes : 

1. The Portrait Madonna, the figures 
in half-length against an indefinite back- 

2. The Madonna Enthroned, where 


the setting is some sort of a throne or 

3. The Madonna in the Sky or the 
"Madonna in Gloria," where the figures 
are set in the heavens, as represented by 
a glory of light, by clouds, by a company 
of cherubs, or by simple elevation above 
the earth's surface, 

4. The Pastoral Madonna, with a land- 
scape background. 

5. The Madonna in a Home Environ- 
ment, where the setting is an interior. 

The foregoing subjects are arranged in 
the order of historical development, so far 
as is possible. The first and last of the 
classes enumerated are so small, compared 
with the others, that they are somewhat 
insignificant in the whole number of Ma- 
donna pictures. Yet, in all probability, it 
is along these lines that future art is most 
likely to develop the subject, choosing the 
portrait Madonna because of its universal 


adaptability, and representing the Madon- 
na in her home, in an effort to realize, 
historically, the New Testament scenes. 
Of the remaining three, the enthroned 
Madonna is, doubtless, the largest class, 
historically considered, because of the long 
period through which it has been repre- 
sented. The pastoral and enskied Ma- 
donnas were in high favor in the first 
period of their perfection. 

Our next question is concerned with 
the aspects of motherhood displayed in 
Madonna pictures: in what relation to 
her child has the Madonna been repre- 
sented ? The answer includes the follow- 
ing three subjects: 

1. The Madonna of Love (The Mater 
Amabilis), in which the relation is purely 
maternal. The emphasis is upon a moth- 
er's natural affection as displayed towards 
her child. 

2. The Madonna in Adoration (The 


Madre Pia), in which the mother's atti- 
tude is one of humility, contemplating her 
child with awe. 

3. The Madonna as Witness, in which 
the Mother is preeminently the Christ- 
bearer, wearing the honors of her proud 
position as witness to her son's great 

These subjects are mentioned in the or- 
der of philosophical climax, and as we jjo 
from the first to the second, and from tht k 
second to the third, we advance farther 
and farther into the experience of mother- 
hood. At the same time there is an in- 
crease in the dignity of the Madonna and 
in her importance as an individual In the 
Mater Amabilis she is subordinate to her 
child, absorbed in him, so to speak; his 
infantine charms often overmatch her own 
beauty. When she rises to the responsibili- 
ties of her high calling, she is, for the time 
being, of equal interest and importance. 


-^Esthetically, she is now even more at- 
tractive than her child, whose seriousness, 
in such pictures, takes something from 
his childlikeness. Chronologically, our list 
reads backwards, as the religious aspect 
of Mary's motherhood was the first treated 
in art, while the naturalistic conception 
came last. Regarded as expressive of na- 
tional characteristics, the Mater Amabilis 
is the Madonna best beloved in northern 
countries, while the other two subjects be- 
long specially to the art of the south. 

It will be seen that any number of 
Madonna pictures, having been arranged 
in the five groups designated in Part I., 
may be gathered up and redistributed in 
the three classes of Part II. To make this 
clear, the pictures mentioned in the first 
method of classification are frequently re- 
ferred to a second time, viewed from an 
entirely different standpoint Since the 
lines of cleavage are so widely dissimilar 


in the two cases, both methods of study 
are necessary to a complete understanding 
of a picture. By the first, we learn a 
convenient term of description by which 
we may casually designate a Madonna ; by 
the second, we find its highest meaning as 
a work of art, and are admitted to some 
new secret of a mother's love. 






first Madonna pictures known 
to us are of the portrait style, and 
are of Byzantine or Greek ori- 
gin. They were brought to Rome and 
the western empire from Constantinople 
(the ancient Byzantium), the capital of the 
eastern empire, where a new school of 
Christian art had developed out of that 
of ancient Greece. Justinian's conquest 
of Italy sowed the new art-seed in a fertile 
field, where it soon took root and multi- 
plied rapidly. There was, however, little 
or no improvement in the type for a long 


period ; it remained practically unchanged 
till the thirteenth century. Thus, while 
a Byzantine Madonna is to be found in 
nearly every old church in Italy, to see 
one is to see all. They are half-length 
figures against a background of gold leaf, 
at first laid on solidly, or, at a somewhat 
later date, studded with cherubs. The 
Virgin has a meagre, ascetic counten- 
ance, large, ill-shaped eyes, and an almost 
peevish expression; her head is draped 
in a heavy, dark blue veil, falling in stiff 

Unattractive as such pictures are to us 
from an artistic standpoint, they inspire 
us with respect if not with reverence. 
Once objects of mingled devotion and 
admiration, they are still regarded with 
awe by many who can no longer admire. 
Their real origin being lost in obscur- 
ity, innumerable legends have arisen, at- 
tributing them to miraculous agencies, 


and also endowing them with power to 
work miracles. There is an early and 
widespread tradition, imported with the 
Madonna from the East, 

Lufe^ ajDajnter. It is said that he painted 
many portraits of the Virgin, and, natur- 
ally, all the churches possessing old Byzan- 
tine pictures claim that they are genuine 
works from the hand of the evangelist. 
There is one in the Ara Coeli at Rome, 
and another in S, Maria in Cosmedino, 
of which marvellous tales are told, besides 
other* of great sanctity in St. Mark's, 
Venice, and in Padua. 

It would not be interesting to dwell, 
in any detail, upon these curious old pic- 
tures. We would do better to take our 
first example from the art which, though 
founded on Byzantine types, had begun to 
learn of nature. Such a picture we find in 
the Venice Academy, by Jacopo Bellini, 
painted at the beginning of the fifteenth 


century, somewhat later than any corre- 
sponding picture could have been found 
elsewhere in Italy, as Venice was chrono- 
logically behind the other art schools. 
The background is a glory of cherub 
heads touched with gold hatching. Both 
mother and child wear heavy nimbi, orna- 
mented with gold. These points recall 
Byzantine work; but the gentler face of 
the Virgin, and the graceful fall of her 
drapery, show that we are in a different 
world of art The child is dressed in a 
little tunic, in the primitive method. 

With the dawn of the Italian Renais- 
sance, the old style of portrait Madonna 
passed out of vogue. More elaborate 
backgrounds were introduced from the 
growing resources of technique. In the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, pictures 
of the portrait style were comparatively 
rare. Raphael, however, was not above 
adopting this method, as every lover of 



the Granduca Madonna will remember. 
His friend Bartolommeo also selected 
this style of composition for some of the 
loveliest of his works. 

The story of the friendship between 
these two men is full of interest. At the 
time of Raphael's first appearance in 
Florence (1504), Bartolommeo had been 
four years a monk, and had laid aside, 
apparently forever, the brush he had pre- 
viously wielded with such promise. The 
young stranger sought the Frate in his 
cell at San Marco, and soon found the 
way to his heart. Stimulated by this 
new friendship, Bartolommeo roused him- 
self from lethargy and resumed the prac- 
tice of art with increasing success. It 
is pleasant to trace the influence which 
the two artists exerted upon each other. 
The older man had experience and learn- 
ing; the younger had enthusiasm and 
genius. Now it happened that, by na- 


ture, Bartolommeo was specially gifted 
in the arrangement of large composi- 
tions, with many figures and stately ar- 
chitectural backgrounds. It is by these 
that he is chiefly known to-day. So it is 
the more interesting that, when Raphaels 
sweet simplicity first touched him, he 
turned aside, for the time, from these 
elaborate plans and gave himself to the 
portrayal of the Madonna in that simplest 
possible way, the half-length portrait pic- 
ture. Several of these he painted upon 
the walls of his own convent, glorifying 
that dim place of prayer and fasting with 
visions of radiant and happy motherhood. 
One of these may still be seen in the cell 
sometimes called the Capella Giovanato. 
It instantly recalls the Tempi Madonna of 
Raphael, both in the pose of the figure 
and in the genuineness of feeling ex- 
hibited. Damp and decay have warred in 
vain against it, and the modern visitor 


lingers before the Mother and Babe with 
hushed admiration. 

Two other similar frescoes have been 
removed to the Academy. They show the 
same motherly tenderness, the same inno- 
cent and beautiful babyhood. The mother 
holds her child close in her arms, pressing 
her forehead to his, or bending her cheek 
to receive his kiss. He throws his little 
arm about her neck, clinging to her veil 
or caressing her face. 

Besides this group of pictures by Bar- 
tolommeo, there are other scattered in- 
stances of portrait Madonnas during the 
Italian Renaissance, by men too great to 
be tied to the fashions of their day. Man- 
tegna was such a painter, and Luini an- 
other. All told, however, their pictures 
of this sort make up a class too rare to 
deserve longer description, 

A century later, the Spanish school 
occasionally reverted to the same style of 


treatment. A pair of notable pictures 'are 
the Madonna of Bethlehem, by Alonzo 
Cano, and the Madonna of the Napkin, 
by Murillo. Both are in Seville, the latter 
in the museum, the former still hanging 
in its original place in the cathedral. 

Of Cano's work, a great authority 1 on 
Spanish art has written, that, "in serene, 
celestial beauty, it is excelled by no image 
of the blessed Mary ever devised in 
Spain." Murillo's picture is better known, 
and has a curious interest from its history. 
The cook in the Capuchin monastery, 
where the artist had been painting, begged 
a picture as a parting gift. No canvas 
being at hand, a napkin was offered in- 
stead, on which the master painted a 
Madonna, unexcelled among his works in 
brilliancy of color. 

As the portrait picture was the first 
style of Madonna known to art, so, also, it 

1 Stirling-Maxwell, in " Annals of the Artists of Spain.'* 



is the last. By a leap of nearly a thou- 
sand years, we have returned, in our own 
day, to the method of the tenth century. 
It is strange that what was once a matter 
of necessity should at last become an 
object of choice. In the beginning of 
Madonna art, the limited resources of tech- 
nique precluded any attempts to make a 
more elaborate setting. Such difficulties 
no longer stand in the way, and where we 
now see a portrait Madonna, the artist has 
deliberately discarded all accessories in 
order better to idealize his theme. 

Take, for instance, the portrait Ma- 
donnas by Gabriel Max. Here are no 
details to divert the attention from mother- 
hood, pure and simple. We do not ask 
of the subject whether she is of high or 
of low estate, a queen or a peasant We 
have only to look into the earnest, lov- 
ing face to read that here is a mother. 
There are two pictures of this sort, 


dently studied from the same Bohemian 
models. In one, the mother looks down 
at her babe; in the other, directly at 
the spectator, with a singularly vision- 
ary expression. When weary with the 
senseless repetition of the set compo- 
sitions of past ages, we turn with relief 
to a simple portrait mother like this > at 
once the most primitive and the most 
advanced form of Madonna art. It is 
only another case where the simplest is 
the best. 



|N every true home the mother is 
queen, enthroned in the hearts 
of her loving children. There is, 
therefore, a beautiful double significance, 
which we should always have in mind, 
in looking at the Madonna enthroned. 
According to the theological conception 
of the period in which it was first pro- 
duced, the picture stands for the Virgin 
Mother as Queen of Heaven. Understood 
typically, it represents the exaltation of 

In the history of art development, the 
enthroned Madonna begins where the por- 
trait Madonna ends. We may date it 
from the thirteenth century, when Cima 



hue, of Florence, and Guido, of Siena, 
produced their famous pictures. Similar 
types had previously appeared in the 
mosaic decorations of churches, but now, 
for the first time, they were worthily set 
forth in panel pictures. 

The story of Cimabue's Madonna is 
one of the oft-told tales we like to hear 
repeated. How on a certain day, about 
1270, Charles of Anjou was passing 
through Florence; how he honored the 
studio of Cimabue by a visit; how the 
Madonna was then first uncovered ; how 
the people shouted so joyously that the 
street was thereafter named the Borgo 
dei Allegri; and how the great picture 
was finally borne in triumphal procession 
to the church of Santa Maria Novella, 
all these are the scenes in the pretty 
drama. The late Sir Frederick Leighton 
has preserved for future centuries this 
story, already six hundred years old, in a 


charming pageant picture : " Cimabue's 
Madonna carried through the streets of 
Florence." This was the first work ever 
exhibited by the English artist, and was 
an important step in the career which 
ended in the presidency of the Royal 

Cimabue's Madonna still hangs in San- 
ta Maria Novella, over the altar of the 
Ruccellai chapel, and thither many a pil- 
grim takes his way to honor the memory 
of the father of modern painting. The 
throne is a sort of carved armchair, very 
simple in form, but richly overlaid with 
gold ; the surrounding background is filled 
with adoring angels. Here sits the Ma- 
donna, in stiff solemnity, holding her child 
6n her lap. If we find it hard to admire 
her beauty, we must note the superiority 
of the picture to its predecessors. 

For the enthroned Madonna in a really 
attractive and beautiful form, we must 


pass at once to the period of full art 
development. In the interval, many 
variations upon the theme have been in- 
vented. The throne may be of any size, 
shape, or material ; the composition may 
consist of any number of figures. The 
Madonna, seated or standing, is now the 
centre of an assembly of personages sym- 
metrically grouped about her. There is 
little or no unity of action among them; 
each one is an independent figure. The 
guard of honor may be composed of 
saints, as in Montagna's Madonna, of the 
Brera, Milan ; or again it is a company of 
angels, as in the Berlin Madonna, at- 
tributed to Botticelli, similar to which is 
the picture by Ghirlandajo in the Uffizi 
Gallery. Where saints are represented, 
each one is marked by some special em- 
blem, the identification of which makes, 
in itself, an interesting study. St. Peter's 
key, St. Paul's sword, St. Catherine's 


wheel, and St. Barbara's tower soon be- 
come familiar symbols to those fond of 
this kind of lore. 

Among the idealized presences about 
the Virgin's throne may sometimes be 
seen the prosaic figure of the donor, 
whose munificence has made the picture 
possible. This is well illustrated in the 
famous Madonna of Victory in the Louvre, 
painted in commemoration of the Battle 
of Fornovo, where Mantegna represents 
Francesco Gonzaga, commander of the 
Venetian forces, kneeling at the Virgin's 

A charming feature in many enthroned 
Madonnas is the group of cherubs below, 
one, two, or the mystic three. They 
are not the exclusive possession of any 
single school of art; Bartolommeo and 
Andrea del Sarto of the Florentines, 
Francia of the Bolognese, and Bellini 
Cima of the Venetians were partic- 


ularly partial to them. The treatment in 
Northern Italy gives them a more definite 
purpose in the composition than does that 
of Florence, for here they are always 
musicians, playing on all sorts of instru- 
ments, the violin, the mandolin, or the 

Bartolommeo was specially successful 
in the subject of the enthroned Madonna, 
having fine gifts of composition united 
with profound religious earnestness. The 
great picture in the Pitti gallery at Flor- 
ence may serve as a typical example. 
Andrea del Sarto's chef- d'ceuvre the 
Madonna di San Francesco (Uffizi) may 
also be assigned to this class, although 
the arrangement is entirely novel. The 
Virgin, holding the babe in her arms, 
stands on a sort of pedestal, carved at 
the corners with a design of harpies, from 
which the picture is often known as the 
Madonna of the Harpies. The pedestal 



throne is also seen in two of Correggio's 
Dresden pictures, but here the Virgin is 
seated, with the child on her lap. An 
exceedingly simple throne Madonna is 
that of Luini, in the Brera at Milan, 
where the Virgin sits on a plain coping 
not at all high. 

A beautiful Madonna enthroned is by 
Perugino, in the Vatican Gallery at Rome ; 
one of the artist's best works in power and 
vivacity of color. The throne is an archi- 
tectural structure of elegant simplicity of 
design, apparently of carved and inlaid 
marble. The Virgin sits in quiet dignity, 
her face bent towards the bishops at her 
right, St. Costantius and St. Herculanus. 
On the other side stand the youthful St. 
Laurence and St. Louis of Toulouse. 
Although Perugino was an exceedingly 
prolific artist, he did not often choose this 
particular subject. On this account the 
picture is especially interesting, and also 


because it is the original model of well 
known works by two of the Umbrian 
painter's most illustrious pupils. 

Many, indeed, were the apprentices 
trained in the famous bottega at Perugia, 
but, among them all, Raphael and Pintu- 
ricchio took the lead. These were the 
two who honored their master by repeat- 
ing, with modifications of their own, the 
beautiful composition of the Vatican. 
Pinturicchio's picture is in the Church 
of St. Andrea, at Perugia. A charming 
feature, which he introduced, is a little St. 
John, standing at the foot of the throne. 
Raphael's picture is the so-called Ansidei 
Madonna, of the National Gallery, Lon- 
don, purchased by the English govern- 
ment, in 1885, for the fabulous price of 
^72,000. The composition is here re- 
duced to its simplest possible form, with 
only one saint on each side, St. Nicholas 
on the right, St. John the Baptist on the 


left The Virgin and child give no atten- 
tion to these personages, but are absorbed 
in a book which is open on the Mother's 

Raphael had no great liking for this 
style of picture, which was rather too 
formal for his taste. It is noticeable 
that, in the few instances where he 
painted it, he took the suggestion, as 
here, from some previous work. Thus 
his Madonna of St. Anthony, also in the 
National Gallery (loaned by the King of 
Naples), was based upon an old picture 
by Bernardino di Mariotto, according to 
the strict orders of the nuns for whose 
convent it was a commission. The 
Baldacchino Madonna of the Piyi, at 

Florence, is closely akin to Bartolom- 

* a f" L 

meo's composition in the same gallery. 

Glancing, briefly, at these scattered ex- 
amples, we learn that the enthroned Ma- 
donna belongs to every school of Italian 


art, and exhibits an astonishing variety 
of forms. Probably it was in the North 
of Italy that it flourished most. The 
Paduan School has its fine representa- 
tion in Mantegna's picture, already re- 
ferred to; the Brescian, in Moretto's 
Madonna of S. Clemente; the Veronese, 
in Girolamo dai Libri's splendid altar 
piece in San Giorgio Maggiore; the Ber- 
gamesque, in Lotto's Madonna of S. Bar- 
tolommeo. Above all, it was in Venice, 
the Queen City of the Adriatic, that the 
enthroned Madonna reached the greatest 
popularity: the spirit of the composition 
was peculiarly adapted to the Venetian 
love of pomp and ceremony. 

To understand Venetian art aright, we 
must distinguish the character of the 
earlier and later periods. With Vivarini, 
Bellini and Cima, the Madonna in Trono 
was the expression of a devout religious 
feeling. With Titian, Tintoretto, and Ver- 


onese, it was merely one among many 
popular art subjects. Thus arose two 
different general types. The earlier Ma- 
donna was a somewhat cold type of 
beauty; the faultless regularity of her 
features and the imperturbable calm of 
her expression make her rather unap- 
proachable ; but she shows a strong, 
sweet purity of character, worthy of pro- 
found respect. 

One of Cima's most important works 
is the Madonna of this type in the Ven- 
ice Academy. High on a marble throne, 
she sits under a pillared portico, behind 
which stretches a pleasant landscape. 
Three saints stand on each side, an 
old man, a youth, and a maiden. On 
the steps sit two choristers playing the 
violin and mandolin. 

Palma's great altar-piece, at Vicenza, 
is another splendid enthroned Madonna. 
Attended by St. George and St. Lucy. 


and entertained by a musical angel seated 
at her feet, the Virgin supports her beau- 
tiful boy, as he gives his blessing. 

Bellini's enthroned Madonnas are 
known throughout the world. The 
picture by which he established his 
fame was one of this class, originally 
painted for a chapel in San Giobbe, but 
now hanging in the Venice Academy. 
Ruskin has pronounced it "one of the 
greatest pictures ever painted in Chris- 
tendom in her central art power." It is 
a large composition, with three saints 
at each side, and three choristers below. 

The Frari Madonna is in a simpler 
vein, and consists of three compartments, 
the central one containing the Virgin's 
throne. The angioletti, on the steps, are 
probably the most popular of their charm- 
ing class in Venice. 

The San Zaccaria Madonna was 
painted when Bellini was over eighty 



years old, and has certain technical qual- 
ities surpassing any the artist had pre- 
viously attained. The depth of light 
and shade is particularly remarkable ; the 
colors rich and harmonious. The at- 
tendant saints are St. Lucy on the right, 
a pretty blonde girl, with St. Jerome be- 
yond her, absorbed in his Bible; oppo- 
site, stand St. Catherine, pensively looking 
down, and St. Peter, in profound medita- 
tion. The entire picture, both in con- 
ception and execution, may be considered 
a representative example of the times. 

Following the Bellini school, and form- 
ing, as it were, a connecting link between 
the earlier and the later art, was Giorgione, 
Less than a score of existing works give 
witness to the rare spirit of this master, 
who was spared to earth only thirty-four 
years. These are of a quality to place 
him among the immortals. The en- 
throned Madonna is the subject of two, 


one in the Madrid Gallery, and another 
at Castel-Franco. They create an en- 
tirely distinct Madonna ideal, a poetic 
being, who sits, with drooping head and 
dreamy eyes, as if seeing unspeakable 

The Castel-Franco picture expresses 
the finest elements in Venetian charac- 
ter. Every other composition seems 
elaborate and artificial when compared 
with the simplicity of this. Other Ma- 
donnas seem almost coarse beside such 
delicacy. The Virgin's throne is of an 
unusual height, a double plinth, the 
upper step of which is somewhat above 
the heads of the attendant saints, Lib- 
erale and Francis. This simple, compo- 
sitional device emphasizes the effect of 
her pensive expression. It is as if her 
high meditations set her apart from 
human companionship. There is, in- 
deed, something almost pathetic in her 


isolation, but for the strength of character 
in her face. The color scheme is as 
simple and beautiful as the underlying 
conception. The Virgin's tunic is of 
green, and the mantle, falling from the 
right shoulder and lying across her lap, 
is red, with deep shadows in its large 
folds. The back of the seat is covered 
with a strip of red and gold embroidery. 

The later period of Venetian art is 
marked by a new ideal of the Virgin. 
She is now a magnificent creature of 
flesh and blood. Her face is proud and 
handsome; her figure large, well-propor- 
tioned, and somewhat voluptuous. No 
Bethlehem stable ever sheltered this 
haughty beauty; her home is in kings' 
palaces; she belongs distinctly to the 
realm of wealth and worldliness. She 
has never known sorrow, anxiety, or 
poverty; life has brought her nothing 
but pleasure and luxury. Her throne 


stands no longer in the sacred place of 
some inner sanctuary, where angel chor- 
isters make music. It is an elevated 
platform, at one side of the composition, 
as in Titian's Pesaro altar-piece, and 
Veronese's Madonna in the Venice Aca- 
demy. This gives an opportunity for a 
display of elaborate draperies, such as 
we may see in Veronese's picture. 

The peculiar qualities of art in Verona 
and Venice are blended in Paolo Veron- 
ese. No artist ever enjoyed more the 
splendors of color, or combined them in 
more enchanting harmonies. Such gifts 
transform the commonest materials, and, 
though his Virgin is a very ordinary 
woman, she has undeniable charms. An 
oft -copied figure, in this picture, is that 
of the little St. John, a universal favorite 
among child lovers. 

The reader must have remarked that, 
though the fundamental idea of the en- 


throned Madonna is that of queenship, 
the Virgin wears no crown in any of 
the pictures thus far cited; the crowned 
Madonna is not characteristic of Italian 
art. It is found occasionally in mosaics 
from the eighth to the eleventh centur- 
ies, and in some of the early votive pic- 
tures, but does not appear in the later 
period except in a few Venetian pictures 
by Giovanni da Murano and Carlo Cri- 
velli. The same idea was often carried 
out by placing two hovering angels over 
the Virgin's head, holding the crown be- 
tween them. Botticelli's Madonna of the 
Inkhorn is treated in this way. 

The crown is essentially Teutonic in 
origin and character. Turning to the 
representative art of Germany and Bel- 
gium, we find the Virgin almost invari- 
ably wearing a crown, whether she sits on 
a throne, or in a pastoral environment 
No better example could be named than 


the celebrated Holbein Madonna, of 
Darmstadt, known chiefly through the 
copy in the Dresden Gallery. Here the 
imposing height of the Virgin is rendered 
still more impressive by a high, golden 
crown, richly embossed and edged with 
pearls. Beneath this her blond hair falls 
loosely over her beautiful neck, and gleams 
on the blue garment hanging over her 
shoulders. Strong and tender, this noble 
figure sums up the finest elements in the 
Madonna art of the North. 

A simple and lovely form for the 
Madonna's crown is the narrow golden 
fillet set with pearls, singly or in clusters. 
This is placed over the Virgin's brow just 
at the edge of the hair, which is otherwise 
unconfined. This is seen on Madonnas 
by Van Eyck (Frankfort), Diirer (wood- 
cut of 1513), Memling (Bruges), Schon- 
gauer (Munich). 

In the enthroned Madonna by Quen- 



tin Massys, in the Berlin Gallery, we have 
many typical characteristics of Northern 
art. The throne itself is exceedingly rich, 
ornamented with agate pillars with em- 
bossed capitals of gold. The Virgin has 
the fine features and earnest, tender 
expression which recalls earlier Flemish 
painters. Her dress falls in rich, heavy 
folds upon the marble pavement. But, as 
with Van Eyck and Memling, Holbein 
and Schongauer, fine clothes do not con- 
ceal her girlish simplicity or her loving 
heart. A low table, spread with food, 
stands at the left, a curious domestic 
element to introduce, and thoroughly 
Northern in realism. 

Considered as a symbol of the exalta- 
tion of motherhood, there is no reason 
why the throne should go out of fashion ; 
but if it is to appear, it must be used 
intelligently, and with some adaptation to 
present modes of thought, not servilely 


imitated from the forms of a by-gone age. 
This is a fact too little appreciated by the 
artists of to-day. Many modern pictures 
could be cited by Bouguereau, Itten- 
bach, and others of enthroned Madon- 
nas in which is adopted the form, but 
not the spirit, of the Italian Rennaissance. 
In such works, the setting is a mere 
affectation entirely out of taste. If we 
are to have a throne, let us have a 
Madonna who is a veritable queen. 



E have seen that the first Madon- 

nas were painted against a back- 
ground either of solid gold, or 
of cherub figures, and that the latter style 
of setting was continued in the early 
pictures of the enthroned Madonna. The 
effect was to idealize the subject, and 
carry it into the region of the heavenly. 
This was the germinal idea which grew 
into the " Madonna in Gloria." 

The glory was originally a sort of nim- 
bus of a larger order, surrounding the 
entire figure, instead of merely the head. 
It was oval in shape, like the almond or 


A picture of this class is the famous 
Madonna della Stella, of Fra Angelico. 
It is in a beautiful Gothic tabernacle, 
which is the sole ornament of a cell in 
San Marco, Florence. At every step in 
these sacred precincts, we meet some 
reminder of the Angelic Brother. How 
the gray walls blossomed, under his brush, 
into forms and colors of eternal beauty! 
After seeing the larger wall-paintings in 
corridors and refectory, this little gem 
seems to epitomize his choicest gifts. A 
rich frame, fit setting for the jewel, en- 
closes an outer circle of adoring angels, 
and within, the central panel contains 
only the full length figure of the Virgin 
with her child, against a mandorla formed 
of golden rays running from centre to cir- 
cumference. The Madonna is enveloped 
in a long, dark blue cloak, drawn around 
her head like a Byzantine veil. A single 
star gleams above her brow, from which 


is derived the title of the picture. She 
holds her child fondly, and he, with re- 
sponsive affection, nestles against his 
mother, pressing his little face into her 
neck. Faithful to the standards of his 
predecessors, and untouched by the new 
spirit of naturalism all about him, the 
monk painter preserves, in his conception, 
the most sacred traditions of past ages, 
and yet unites with them an element 
of love and tenderness which appeals 
strongly to every human heart. 

It is but a step from this earlier form 
of the Madonna in Gloria to the more 
'nodern style of the Madonna in the Sky, 
where the field of vision is enlarged, and 
we see the Virgin and child raised above 
the surface of the earth. In some pic- 
tures, her elevation is very slight. There 
is a curious composition, by Andrea del 
Sarto (Berlin Gallery), where we are 
puzzled to know if the Madonna is en- 


throned or enskied. A flight of steps 
in the centre leads up as if to a throne, 
but above these the Virgin sits in a 
niche, on a bank of clouds. 

In Correggio's Madonna of St. Sebas- 
tian, in the Dresden Gallery, the Virgin 
seems to be descending from heaven to 
earth with her babe, and the surrounding 
clouds and cherubs rest literally upon the 
heads of the saints who are honored by 
the vision. 

In other pictures the dividing line 
between earth and heaven is much more 
strongly marked. We have a landscape 
below, then a stratum of intervening air, 
and, in the upper sky, the Madonna with 
her child. The lower part of the picture 
is occupied by a company of saints, to 
whom the heavenly vision is vouchsafed ; 
or, in rare cases, by cherubs. The Virgin 
appears in a cloud of cherub heads, 
or accompanied by a few child - angels. 



There are a few pictures in which her 
mother, St. Anne, sits with her. Adoring 
seraphs sometimes attend, one on each 
side, or even sainted personages. All 
these variations are exemplified in the 
pictures which we are to consider. 

The first has come down to us from the 
hand of some unknown Umbrian painter. 
In the National Gallery, London, where 
it now hangs, it was once attributed to 
Lo Spagna, but is now entered in the 
catalogue as nameless. It matters little 
whether or not we know the name of the 
master ; he could ask no higher tribute to 
his talent than the universal admiration 
which his picture commands. 

In the foreground of a quiet Umbrian 
lanscape is a marble balcony, on the rail- 
ing of which sit two captivating little boy 
choristers. One roguish fellow pipes on a 
trumpet, while the other, his face tip-tilted 
to the heavenly vision, makes music on a 


small guitar. Above, on a cloud, sits the 
Virgin, with the sweet, mystic smile on 
her face, so characteristic of Umbrian art. 
She supports her babe with her right arm, 
and in her left hand carries a lily stalk. 
The child, standing on his mother's knee 
and clinging to her neck, turns his face out 
with sweet earnestness. In clouds at the 
side, tiny cherubs bear tapers, while others, 
floating above, hold a large crown just 
over her head. 

Although we cannot limit this style of 
picture to any special locality, it appears 
to have found much favor in the art of 
Northern Italy. In the Brescian school, 
Moretto was unusually fond of the subject. 
His treatment of the theme is somewhat 
heavy; there is little of the ethereal in 
his celestial vision, either in the type of 
womanhood or in the style of arrange- 
ment. In defiance of the law of gravita- 
tion, he poses his upper figures so as to 



form a solid pyramid, wide at the base, 
and tapering abruptly to the apex. 

In the glorified Madonna of St. John 
the Evangelist, Brescia, the pyramidal 
effect is accentuated by curtains draped 
back on either side of the upper part of 
the composition. In the Madonna of San 
Giorgio Maggiore, at Verona, we have 
a much more attractive picture. The 
" gloria " encompassing the vision is 
clearly defined, giving so strong an effect 
of the supernatural that we cease to judge 
the composition by ordinary standards of 
natural law. The Virgin's white veil 
flutters from her head as if caught by 
some heavenly breeze. Her cloak floats 
about her by the same mysterious force, 
held in graceful festoons by winged cherub 

Below is a group of five virgin martyrs, 
with St. Cecilia in the centre, wearing a 
crown of roses; St. Lucia holds the awl, 


the instrument of her torture, looking 
down at St. Catherine, who leans against 
her terrible wheel ; St. Agnes, on the other 
side, reads quietly from a book while she 
caresses her lamb, and St. Barbara stands 
behind her, with eyes lifted to the sky. 
They are all splendid young Amazons, 
recalling Moretto's fine St. Justina of the 
Vienna Gallery. There is no trace of 
ascetism in their strong, well-developed 
figures, and in their faces no suggestion 
of an unhealthy pietism. 

Moretto's ideals were an anticipation of 
the most advanced ideas of the modern 
science of physical culture. His Madonna 
and saints derive their beauty neither from 
over refinement on the one hand, nor 
from sensuous charms on the other, but 
from sane and harmonious self-develop- 

The Berlin Gallery contains a third 
glorified Madonna by the same painter, 


treated as a Holy Family. St. Elizabeth 
sits beside the Virgin, who holds her own 
boy on her right side, while bending to 
embrace the little St. John with the left 
arm. So large a group is not appropri- 
ately treated in this way, yet the picture 
is so fine a work of art as to disarm 

Still another representative of the Bres- 
cian school must be considered in the 
person of Savolclo. Born of a noble 
family, and following painting as an 
amusement rather than as an actual 
profession, his works are rare, and one 
of the finest examples of his art is the 
Glorification of the Virgin, in the Brera 
Gallery, at Milan. The mandorla-shaped 
glory surrounds the Virgin's figure, studded 
with faintly discerned cherub heads. On 
either side, a musical angel is in adora- 
tion; four saints stand on the earth below. 
The entire conception is rendered with 


the utmost delicacy : the grace and beauty 
of the Madonna are of exactly the qual- 
ity to make her appearance a beatific 

From Brescia we turn to Verona, where 
we again find many pictures of the beau- 
tiful subject. There are, in the churches 
of Verona, at least three notable works, by 
Gianfrancesco Caroto, in this style. One 
is in Sant' Anastasia, another is in San 
Giorgio, and the third the artist's best 
existing work is in San Fermo Mag- 
giore, and shows the Virgin's mother, St. 
Anne, seated with her in the clouds. 

Girolamo dai Libri was a few years 
younger than Caroto, and at one period 
was, to some extent, an imitator of the 
latter. Beginning as a miniaturist, he 
finally attained a high place among the 
Veronese artists of the first order. His 
characteristics can nowhere be seen to 
better advantage than in the Madonna of 


St. Andrew and St. Peter, in the Verona 
Gallery. The Virgin is in an oval glory, 
edged all around with small, fleecy clouds. 
She has a beautiful, matronly face, with 
abundant hair, smoothly brushed over her 
forehead. The two apostles, below, are fine, 
strong figures, full of virility. 

Morando, or Cavazzola, was, doubtless, 
the most gifted of the older school of 
Verona, possessing some of the best qual- 
ities of the later master, Paolo Veronese. 
We should not leave the school, therefore, 
without mentioning a remarkable contri- 
bution he added to this class of pictures in 
his latest altar-piece. Here the upper air 
is filled with a sacred company, the Virgin 
and child are attended by St. Francis and 
St. Anthony, and surrounded by seven 
allegorical figures to represent the cardi- 
nal virtues. Below are six saints, specially 
honored in the Franciscan Order. The 
picture is called the finest production of 


the school in the first quarter of the six- 
teenth century. 

In the Venetian school, Titian and 
Tintoretto both painted the subject of 
the Madonna in glory, but the pictures 
are not notable compared with many 
others from their hands. 

From the North of Italy we naturally 
turn next to the South, to inquire what 
Raphael was doing at the same period in 
Rome. Occupied by many great works 
under the papal patronage, he still found 
time for his favorite subject of the Ma- 
donna, painting some pictures in the styles 
already mastered, and two for the first 
time in the style of the Madonna in the 

The first was the Foligno Madonna, 
now in the Vatican Gallery. It was 
painted in 1511 for the pope's secre- 
tary, Sigismund Conti, as a thank-offering 
for having escaped the danger of a fall- 



ing meteor at Foligno. No thoughtful 
observer can be slow to recognize the 
superiority of this composition over all 
others of its kind in point of unity. Here 
is no formal row of saints, each absorbed 
in his or her own reflections, apart from 
any common purpose. On the contrary, 
all unite in paying honor to the Queen 
of Heaven. Not less superior to his con- 
temporaries was the painter's skill in 
arranging the figures of Mother and child 
with such grace of equilibrium that they 
seem to float in the upper air. 

In the Sistine Madonna, Raphael car- 
ried this form of composition to the 
hjghes^jjerfection. So simple and ap- 
parently unstudied is its beauty, that 
we do not realize the masterliness of its 
art We seem to be standing before an 
altar, or, better still, before an open win- 
dow, from which the curtains have been 
drawn aside, allowing us to look directly 


into the heaven of heavens. A cloud of 
cherub faces fills the air, from the midst 
of which, and advancing towards us, is 
the Virgin with her child. The down- 
ward force of gravity is perfectly coun- 
terbalanced by the vital energy of her 
progress forward. There is here no 
uncomfortable sense, on the part of 
the spectator, that natural law is disre- 
garded. While the seated Madonna in 
glory seems often in danger of falling 
to earth, this full-length figure in motion 
avoids any such solidity of effect. 

The figures on either side are also 
so posed as to arouse no surprise at 
their presence. We should have said 
beforehand that heavy pontifical robes 
would be absurdly incongruous in such 
a composition, but Raphael solves the 
problem so simply that few would sus- 
pect the difficulties. The final touch of 
beauty is added in the cherub heads be- 




low, recalling the naive charm of the 
similar figures in the Umbrian picture 
we have considered. 

After the time of Raphael, a pretty 
form of Madonna in glory was occa- 
sionally painted, showing the Virgin with 
her babe sitting above the crescent moon. 
The conception appears more than once 
in the paintings of Albert Diirer, and 
later, artists of all schools adopted it. 
Sassoferrato's picture in the Vatican 
Gallery is a popular example. Tinto- 
retto's, in Berlin, is not so well known. 
In the Dresden Gallery is a work, by 
an unknown Spanish painter of the 
seventeenth century, differing from the 
others in that the Virgin is standing, as 
in the oft-repeated Spanish pictures of 
the Immaculate Conception. 

It is of pictures like this that our poet 
Longfellow is speaking, when he thus 
apostrophizes the Virgin; 


" Thou peerless queen of air, 
As sandals to thy feet the silver moon dost wear." 

The enskied Madonna involves many 
technical difficulties of composition, and 
demands a high order of artistic imagina- 
tion. It could hardly be called a frequent 
subject in the period of greatest artistic 
daring, and no modern painter has shown 
any adequate understanding of the sub- 
ject, though there are not lacking those 
who have made the attempt Bodenhau- 
sen, Defregger, Bouguereau, have all fol- 
lowed Raphael in representing the Queen 
of Heaven as a full-length figure in the 
sky; but their conception has not the 
dignity corresponding to the style of treat- 

Impatient and dissatisfied with such 
modern art, we turn back to the old mas- 
ters with new appreciation of their great 



[T was many centuries before art, 
at first devoted exclusively to 
figure painting, turned to the 
study of natural scenery. Thus it was 
that Madonna pictures, of various kinds, 
had long been established in popular favor 
before the idea of a landscape setting was 
introduced. We need not look for inter- 
esting pictures of this class before the 
latter part of the fifteenth century, and it 
was not until the sixteenth that the pas- 
toral Madonna, in its highest form, was 
first produced. Even then there was no 
great number which show a really sympa- 
thetic love of nature. 

In the ideal pastoral, the landscape en- 
9 1 


tirely fills the picture, and the figures are, 
as it were, an integral part of it. Such 
pictures are so rare that we write in golden 
letters the names of the few who have 
given us these treasures. 

Raphael's justly comes first in the list. 
His earliest Madonnas show his love of 
natural scenery, in the charming glimpses 
of- Umbrian landscape, which form the 
background. These are treated, as Miintz 
points out, with marked "simplicity of 
outline and breadth of design/' They are, 
however, but the beginning of the great 
things that were to follow. The young 
painter's sojourn in Florence witnessed a 
marvellous development of his powers. 
Here he was surrounded by the greatest 
artists of his time, and he was quick to 
absorb into himself something of excel- 
lence from them all. His fertility of pro- 
duction was amazing. In a period of four 
years (1504-1508), interrupted by visits to 


Perugia and Urbino, he produced about 
twenty Madonnas, in which we may trace 
the new influences affecting him. 

Leonardo da Vinci was, doubtless, his 
greatest inspiration, and it was from this 
master-student of nature that the young 
man learned, with new enthusiasm, the 
value of going directly to Nature herself. 
The fruit of this new study is a group of 
lovely pastoral Madonnas, which are en- 
tirely unique as Nature idyls. Three of 
these are among the world's great favorites. 
They are, the Belle Jardiniere (The Beau- 
tiful Gardener), of the Louvre Gallery, 
Paris ; the Madonna in Griinen (The Ma- 
donna in the Meadow), in the Belvedere 
Gallery, Vienna ; and the Cardellino Ma- 
donna (The Madonna of the Goldfinch), 
of the Uffizi, Florence. 

We turn from one to another of these 
three beautiful pictures, always in doubt 
as to which is the greatest. Fortunately, 


it is a question which there is no occasion 
to decide, as every lover of art may be the 
happy possessor of all three, in that high- 
est mode of possession attained by devoted 

In each one we have the typical Tuscan 
landscape, filling the whole picture with its 
tranquil beauty. The " glad green earth " 
blossoms with dainty flowers ; the fair blue 
sky above is reflected in the placid surface 
of a lake. From its shores rise gently 
undulating hills, where towers show the 
signs of happy activity. In the foreground 
of this peaceful scene sits a beautiful 
woman with two charming children at her 
knee. They belong- to the landscape as 
naturally as the dees and flowers; they 
partake of its tranquil, placid happiness. 

Almost identical in general style of 
composition, the three pictures show 
many points of dissimilarity when we 
come to a closer study of the figures. 



Considered as a type of womanly beauty, 
the Belle Jardiniere is perhaps the most 
commonplace of the three Virgins, or, to 
put it negatively, the least attractive. She 
is distinctly of the peasant^ class, gentle, 
amiable, and ^n^irdy^jia^suming. The 
Madonna in the Meadow is a maturer 
woman, more dignified, more beautiful. 
The smooth braids of her hair are coiled 
about the head, accentuating its lovely 
outline. The falling mantle reveals the 
finely modelled shoulders. The Madonna 
of the Goldfinch is a still higher type 
of loveliness, uniting with gentle dignity 
a certain delicate, high-bred grace, which 
Raphael alone could impart. Her face 
is charmingly framed in the soft hair 
which falls modestly about it. One won- 
ders if any modern coiffeur could in- 
vent so many styles of hair dressing as 
does this gifted young painter of the six* 
teenth century. 


Turning from the mother to the chil* 
dren, we find the same general types re- 
peated in the three pictures, but with 
some difference of motif. The Christ- 
child of the Belle Jardiniere is looking up 
fondly to his mother. In the Vienna pic- 
ture he is eagerly interested in the cross 
which the little St. John gives him. In 
the Uffizi picture he is more serious, and 
strokes the goldfinch with an air of ab- 
straction, meditating on the holy things 
his mother has been reading to him. 

The arrangement of the three figures is 
the same in all the pictures, and is so 
entirely simple that we forget the great- 
ness of the art. The Virgin, dominating 
the composition, brings into unity the two 
smaller figures. This unity is somewhat 
less perfect in the Belle Jardiniere, be- 
cause the little St. John is almost neg- 
lected in the intense absorption of mother 
and child in each other, 


Once again, in the later days at Rome, 
Raphael recurred to the pastoral Madonna 
type of this Florentine period, and painted 
the picture known as the Casa Alba Ma- 
donna. We have again the same smiling 
landscape and the same charming chil- 
dren, but a Virgin of an altogether new 
order. A turbaned Roman beauty of 
superb, Juno-like physique, she does not 
belong to the idyllic character of her sur- 
roundings. It is as if some brilliant exotic 
had been transplanted from her native 
haunts to quiet fields, where hitherto the 
modest lily had bloomed alone. 

As Raphael's first inspiration for the 
pastoral Madonna came from the influ- 
ence of Leonardo da Vinci, it is of inter- 
est to compare his work with that of the 
great Lombard himself. Critics tell us 
that the Madonna pictures in which he 
came nearest to his model are the Ma- 
donna in the Meadow and the Holy 


Family of the Lamb. (Madrid.) These 
we may place beside the Madonna of the 
Rocks, which is the only entirely authen- 
tic Da Vinci Madonna which we have. 

It is only the skilled connoisseur who, in 
travelling from Paris to Vienna, and from 
Vienna to Madrid, can hold in memory 
the qualities of technique which link to- 
gether the three pictures ; but for gen- 
eral characteristics of composition, the 
black and white reproductions may suffice. 
Leonardo availed himself of his intimate 
knowledge of Nature to choose from her 
storehouse something which is unique 
rather than typical. The rock grotto 
doubtless has a real counterpart, but we 
must go far to find it. In the river, 
gleaming beyond, we see the painter's 
characteristic treatment of water, which 
Raphael was glad to adopt The tri- 
angular arrangement of the figures, the 
relation of the Virgin to the children* 



the simple, childish beauty of the latter, 
and their attitude towards each other 
all these points suggest the source of 
Raphael's similar conceptions. The Vir- 
gin's hair falls over her shoulders entirely 
unbound, in gentle, waving ripples. 

We do not need to be told, though the 
historian has taken pains to record it, 
that a feature of personal beauty by which 
Leonardo was always greatly pleased was 
"curled and waving hair." We see it in 
the first touch of his hand when, as a boy 
in the workshop of Verrochio, he painted 
the wavy-haired angel in his Master's 
Baptism; and here, again, in the Virgin, 
we find it the crowning element of her 
mysterious loveliness. We try in vain to 
penetrate the secret of her smile, it 
is as evasive as it is enchanting. And 
herein lies the distinguishing difference 
between Leonardo and Raphael. The 
former is always mysterious and subtle; 


the latter is always frank and Ingenuous e 
While both are true interpreters of na- 
ture, Leonardo reveals the rare and inex- 
plicable, Raphael chooses the typical and 
familiar. Both are possessed of a strong- 
sense of the harmony of nature with 
human life. The smile of the Virgin of 
the Rocks is a part of the mystery of her 
shadowy environment ; * the serenity of 
the Madonna in the Meadow belongs to 
the atmosphere of the open fields. 

Among others who were affected by the 
influence of Leonardo and chief of the 
Lombards was Luini. His pastoral 
Madonna has, however, little in common 
with the landscapes of his master, judg- 
ing from the lovely example in the Brera. 

1 That the Leonardesque smiU requires a Leonardesque 
setting is seen, I think, in the pictures by Da Vinci's imita- 
tors. The Madonna by Sodoma, recently added to the 
Brera Gallery at Milan, is an example in point. Here the 
inevitable smile of mystery seems meaningless in the sunny, 
open landscape. 


The group of figures is strikingly sug- 
gestive of Da Vinci, but the quiet, rural 
pasture in which the Virgin sits is Luini's 
own. In the distance is a thick clump of 
trees, finely drawn in stem and branch. 
At one side is a shepherd's hut with a 
flock of sheep grazing near. The child 
Jesus reaches from his mother's lap to play 
with the lamb which the little St. John 
has brought, a motif similar to Raphael's 
Madrid picture, and perhaps due, in both 
painters, to the example of Leonardo. 

It is said by the learned that during the 
period of the Renaissance the love of na- 
ture received an immense impulse from 
the revival of the Latin poets, and that this 
impulse was felt most in the large cities. 
In the pictures noted, we have seen its ef- 
fect in Florentine and Lombard art; that 
it was also felt in isolated places, we 
may see in some of Correggio's work 
at Parma, at about the same time. Two, 


at least, of his Madonna pictures are as 
famous for their beautiful landscapes as 
for the rare grace and charm of their 
figures. These are the kneeling Madon- 
na, of the Uffizi, and "La Zingarella," 
at Naples. Both show a perfect adapta- 
tion of the surroundings to the spirit of 
the scene. In the first it is morning, 
and the gladness of Nature reflects the 
Mother's rapturous joy in her awaken- 
ing babe. A brilliant light floods the 
figures in the foreground and melts 
across the green slopes into the hazy 
distance of the sea-bound horizon. In 
the second it is twilight, and a calm 
stillness broods over all, as under the 
feathery palms the Mother bends, watch- 
ful, over her little one's slumbers. Such 
were the revelations of Nature to the 
country-bred painter from the little town 
of Correggio. 

Turning now to Venice for our last 



examples, we find that the love of natu- 
ral scenery was remarkably strong in 
this city of water and sky, where the 
very absence of verdure may have created 
a homesick longing for the green fields. 
It was Venetian art which originated 
that form of pastoral Madonna known 
as the Santa Conversazione. This is 
usually a long, narrow picture, showing 
a group of sacred personages, against a 
landscape setting, centering about the 
Madonna and child. The composition 
has none of the formality of the en- 
throned Madonna. An underlying unity 
of purpose and action binds all the fig- 
ures together in natural and harmonious 

The acknowledged leader of this style 
of composition the inventor indeed ac- 
cording to many was Palma Vecchio. 
It is curious that of a painter whose 
works are so widely admired, almost 


nothing is known. Even the traditions 
which once lent color to his life have 
been shattered by the ruthless hand of 
the modern investigator. The span of 
his life extended from 1480 to 1528. 
Thus he came at the beginning of the 
century made glorious by Titian, and 
contributed not a little in his own way 
to its glory. 

It is supposed that he studied under 
Giovanni Bellini, and at one time was 
a friend and colleague of Lorenzo Lotto. 
A child of the mountains for he was 
born in Serinalta he never entirely lost 
the influence of his early surroundings. 

To the last his figures are grave, vigor- 
ous, sometimes almost rude, partaking of 
the characteristics of the everlasting hills. 
Perhaps it was these traits which made the 
Santa Conversazione a favorite composi- 
tion with him. He has an intense love 
of Nature in her most luxuriant mood. 


For a collection of Palma's pictures, we 
should choose at least four to represent 
his treatment of the Santa Conversazione : 
those at Naples, Dresden, Munich, and 
Vienna. The Naples picture is considered 
the most successful of Palma's large pic- 
tures of this kind, but it is not easy for 
the less critical observer to choose a favor- 
ite among the four. One general formula 
describes them all: a sunny landscape 
with hills clad in their greenest garb; a 
tree in the foreground, beneath which sits 
the Virgin, a comely, country-bred matron, 
who seems to have drawn her splendid 
vigor from the clear, bright air. On her 
lap she supports a sprightly little boy, who 
is the centre of attention. 

In the simpler compositions the Ma- 
donna is at the left, and at the right kneel 
or sit two saints. One is a handsome 
young rustic, unkempt and roughly clad, 
sometimes figuring as St. John the Bap- 


tist, and sometimes as St. Roch. With 
him is contrasted a beautiful young female 
saint, usually St. Catherine. Where the 
composition includes other figures, the 
Virgin is in the centre, with the attendant 
personages symmetrically grouped on 
either side. In the Vienna picture the 
two additional figures at the left are the 
aged St. Celestin and a fine St. Barbara. 

Of all schools of painting, the Venetian 
is the least translatable into black and 
white, so rich in colors is the palette which 
composed it. This is especially true of 
Palma, and to understand aright his Santa 
Conversazione, we must read into it the 
harmony of colors which it expresses, 
the chords of blue, red, brown, and green, 
the shimmering lights and brilliant at- 

The subject of the Santa Conversazione 
should not be left without a brief reference 
to other Venetians, who added to the pop- 



ularity of this charming style of picture. 
Berenson mentions seven by Palma's 
pupil, Bonifazio Veronese, and one by his 
friend, Lorenzo Lotto. Cima, Cariani, 
Paris Bordone, and last, but not least, the 
great Titian, 1 lent their gifts to the subject, 
so that we have abundant evidence of the 
Venetian love of natural scenery. 

It remains to consider one more form 
of the pastoral Madonna, that which 
represents the Virgin and child in "a 
garden inclosed, " in allusion to the sym- 
bolism of Solomon's Song (4: 12). The 
subject is found among the woodcuts of 
Albert Durer, but I have never seen it in 
any German painting. 

In Italian art there are two famous 
pictures of this class: by Francia, in the 
Munich Gallery, and by Filippino Lippi 
(or so attributed), in the Pitti, at Flor- 

1 See particulaily Titian's works in the Louvre, of which 
the Vierge au Lapin is an especially charming pastoral. 


ence. In both the motif is the same: 
in the foreground, a square inclosure 
surrounded by a rose-hedge, with a hilly 
landscape in the distance; the Virgin 
kneeling before her child in the centre. 
Filippino Lippi's is one of those pic- 
tures whose beauty attracts crowds of 
admirers to the canvas. Copyists are 
kept busy, repeating the composition for 
eager purchasers, and it has made its 
way all over the world. The circle of 
graceful angels who, with the boy St. 
John, join the mother in adoring the 
Christ-child, is one of the chief attractions 
of the picture. It is a pretty conceit that 
one of these angels showers rose leaves 
upon the babe. 

The pastoral Madonna is the sort of 
picture which can never be outgrown. 
The charm of nature is as perennial as 
is the beauty of motherhood, and the two 
are always in harmony. Here, then, is a 


proper subject for modern Madonna art, 
a field which has scarcely been opened by 
the artists of our own day. Such pas- 
toral Madonnas as have been painted 
within recent years are all more or less 
artificial in conception. Compared with 
the idyllic charm of the sixteenth century 
pictures, they seem like pretty scenes in 
a well-mounted opera. We are looking 
for better things. 



SUBJECT so sacred as the Ma- 
donna was long held in too great 
reverence to permit of any com- 
mon or realistic treatment The pastoral 
setting brought the mother and her babe 
into somewhat closer and more human 
relations than had before been deemed 
possible ; but art was slow to presume 
any further upon this familiarity. The 
Madonna as a domestic subject, repre- 
sented in the interior of her home, was 
hesitatingly adopted, and has been so 
rarely treated, even down to our own 
times, as to form but a small group of 
pictures in the great body of art. 

The Northern painters naturally led 




the way. Peculiarly home-loving in their 
tastes, their ideal woman is the hausfran, 
and it was with them no lowering of the 
Madonna's dignity to represent her in 
this capacity. A picture in the style of 
Quentin Massys hangs in the Munich 
Gallery, and shows a Flemish bedroom 
of the fifteenth century. At the left 
stands the bed, and on the right burns 
the fire, with a kettle hanging over it. 
The Virgin sits alone with her babe at 
her breast 

More frequently a domestic scene of 
this sort includes other figures belonging 
to the Holy Family. A typical German 
example is the picture by Schongauer in 
the Belvedere Gallery at Vienna. The 
Virgin is seated in homely surroundings, 
intent upon a bunch of grapes which she 
holds in her hands, and which she has 
taken from a basket standing on the floor 
beside her. Long, waving hair falls over 


her shoulders ; a snowy kerchief is folded 
primly in the neck of her dress; she 
is the impersonation of virgin modesty. 
Her baby boy stands on her lap, nestling 
against his mother; his eyes fixed on 
the fruit, his eager little face glowing 
with pleasure. Beyond are seen the cat- 
tle, which Joseph is feeding. He pauses 
at the door, a bundle of hay in his arms, 
to look in with fond pride at his young 
wife and her child. 

Schongauer's work belongs to the latter 
part of the fifteenth century, and there 
was nothing similar to it in Italy at the 
same period. It is true that Madonnas in 
domestic settings have been attributed to 
contemporaneous Italians, but they were 
probably by some Flemish hand. 

Giulio Romano, a pupil of Raphael, 
was perhaps the first of the Italians to 
give any domestic touch to the subject 
of the Madonna and child. His Ma- 



donna della Catina of the Dresden Gal- 
lery is well known. It is so called from 
the basin in which the Christ-child stands 
while the little St. John pours in water 
from a pitcher for the bath. Another 
picture by the same artist shows the 
Madonna seated with her child in the 
interior of a bedchamber. This was one 
of the "discoveries" of the late Senator 
Giovanni Morelli, the critic, and is in a 
private collection in Dresden. 

To Giulio Romano also, according to 
recent criticism, is due the domestic Ma- 
donna known as the " Impannata," and 
usually attributed to Raphael. It is prob- 
able that both artists had a hand in it, 
the master in the arrangement of the 
composition, the pupil in its execution. 
A bed at one side is concealed by a green 
curtain. In the rear is the cloth-covered 
window which gives the picture its name. 
Elizabeth and Mary Magdalene have 


brought home the child, who springs to 
his mother's arms, smiling back brightly 
at his friends. One other Madonna from 
Raphael's brush (the Orleans) has an 
interior setting, but the domestic environ- 
ment here is undoubtedly the work of 
some Flemish painter of later date. 

By the seventeenth century, the Holy 
Family in a home environment can be 
found somewhat more often in various 
localities. By the French painter Mi- 
gnard there is a well-known picture in 
the Louvre called La Vierge a la Grappe. 
By F. Barocci of Urbino there is an 
example in the National Gallery known 
as the Madonna del Gatto, in which the 
child holds a bird out of the reach of a 
cat. A similar motif, certainly not a 
pleasant one, is seen in Murillo's Holy 
Family of the Bird, in Madrid. By Sa- 
limbeni, in the Pitti, is a Holy Family 
in an interior, showing the boy Jesus 


and his cousin St. John playing with 

Rembrandt's domestic Madonna pic- 
tures, equally homely as to environment, 
are by no means scenes of hilarity, but 
rather of frugal contentment Two 
similar works bear the title of Le 
Menage du Menuisier the Carpenter's 
Home. In both, the scene is the interior 
of a common room devoted to work 
and household purposes. Joseph is seen 
in the rear at his bench, while the cen- 
tral figures are the mother and child. 

In the Louvre picture, the Virgin's 
mother is present, caressing her grand- 
child, who is held at his mother's breast. 
The composition at St. Petersburg (Her- 
mitage Gallery) is simpler, and shows 
the Virgin contemplating her babe as 
he lies asleep in the cradle. Another 
well-known picture by Rembrandt is in 
the Munich Gallery, where again we have 


signs of the carpenter's toil, but where 
the laborer has stopped for a moment 
to peep at the babe, who has gone off to 
dreamland at his mother's breast and now 
sleeps sweetly in her lap. Let those who 
think such pictures too homely for a 
sacred theme compare them with the 
simplicity of the Gospels. 

PART il 






fNDOUBTEDLY the most popu- 
lar of all Madonna subjects cer- 
tainly the most easily understood 
is the Mater Amabilis. The mother's 
mood may be read at a glance: she is 
showing in one of a thousand tender ways 
her motherly affection for her child. She 
clasps him in her arms, holding him to 
her breast, pressing her face to his, kissing 
him, caressing him, or playing with him. 
Love is written in every line of her face ; 
love is the key-note of the picture. 

The style of composition best adapted 
to such a theme is manifestly the simplest. 


The more formal types of the enthroned 
and glorified Madonnas are the least 
suitable for the display of maternal affec- 
tion, while the portrait Madonna, and the 
Madonna in landscape or domestic scenes, 
are readily conceived as the Mater Ama- 
bilis. Nevertheless, these distinctions have 
not by any means been rigidly regarded 
in art This is manifest in some of the 
illustrations in Part L, as the Enthroned 
Madonna, by Quentin Massys, where the 
mother kisses her child, and Angelico's 
Madonna in Glory, where she holds him 
to her cheek. 

Gathering our examples from so many 
methods of composition, we are in the 
midst of a multitude of pictures which no 
man can number, and which set forth 
every conceivable phase of motherliness. 

Let us make Raphael our starting-point. 
From the same master whose influence 
led him to the study of external nature, he 


learned also the study of human nature. 
To the interpretation of mother-love he 
brought all the fresh ardor of youth, and 
a sunny temperament which saw only joy 
in the face of Nature. One after another 
of the series of his Florentine pictures 
gives us a new glimpse of the loving rela- 
tion between mother and child. 

The Belle Jardiniere gazes into her 
boy's face in fond absorption. The Tempi 
Madonna holds him to her heart, pressing 
her lips to his soft cheek. In the Orleans 
and Colonna pictures she smiles indul- 
gently into his eyes as he lies across her 
lap, plucking at the bosom of her dress. 
Other pictures show the two eagerly read- 
ing together from the Book of Wisdom 
(The Conestabile and Ansidei Madonnas). 

The painter's later work evinces a 
growing maturity of thought. In the 
Holy Family of Francis I., how strong 
and tender is the mother's attitude, as 


she stoops to lift her child from his cradle ; 
in the Chair Madonna, how protecting is 
the capacious embrace with which she 
gathers him to herself in brooding love. 
No technical artistic education is neces- 
sary for the appreciation of such pictures. 
All who have known a mother's love look 
and understand, and look again and are 

Correggio touches the heart in much 
the same way; he, too, saw the world 
through rose-colored glasses. His inter- 
pretation of life is full of buoyant en- 
joyment Beside the tranquil joy of 
Raphael's ideals, his figures express a 
tumultuous gladness, an overflowing gay- 
ety. This is the more curious because 
of the singular melancholy which is at- 
tributed to him. The outer circumstances 
of his life moved in a quiet groove which 
was almost humdrum. He passed his 
days in comparative obscurity at Parma, 


far from the great art influences of his 
time. But isolation seemed the better 
to develop his rare individuality. He 
was the architect of his own fortunes, 
and wrought out independently a style 
peculiar to himself. His most famous 
Madonna pictures are large compositions, 
crowded with figures of extravagant atti- 
tudes and expression. The fame of these 
more pretentious works rests not so much 
upon their inner significance as upon 
their splendid technique. They are un- 
surpassed for masterly handling of color, 
and for triumphs of chiaroscuro. 

There are better qualities of sentiment 
in the smaller pictures, where the mother 
is alone with her child. It is here that 
we find something worthy to compare 
with Raphael. There are several of these, 
produced in rapid succession during the 
period when the artist was engaged upon 
the frescoes of S. Giovanni (Parma), and 


soon after marriage had opened his heart 
to sweet, domestic influences. 

The first was the Uffizi picture, so 
widely known and loved. The mother 
has gathered up her mantle so that it 
covers her head and drops at one side 
on a step, forming a soft, blue cushion 
for the babe. Here the little darling lies, 
looking up into his mother's face. Kneel- 
ing on the step below, she bends over 
him, with her hands playfully outstretched, 
in a transport of maternal affection. 

Following this came the picture now in 
the National Gallery, called the Madonna 
della Cesta, from the basket that lies on 
the ground. It is a domestic scene in 
the outer air: the mother is dressing 
her babe, and smilingly arrests his hand, 
which, on a sudden impulse, he has 
stretched towards some coveted object. 
The same face is almost exactly repeated 
in the Madonna of the Hermitage Gallery 


(St. Petersburg), who offers her breast to 
her boy, at that moment turning about 
to receive some fruit presented by a child 
angel. There are two duplicates of this 
picture in other galleries. 

The Zingarella (the Gypsy) is so called 
from the gypsy turban worn by the 
Madonna. The mother, supposed to be 
painted from the artist's wife, sits with 
the child asleep on her lap. With moth- 
erly tenderness she bends so closely over 
him that her forehead touches his little 
head. It is unfortunate that this beau- 
tiful work is not better known. It is in 
the Naples Gallery. 

A comparison of these pictures dis- 
closes a remarkable variety in action and 
grouping. On the other hand, the Ma- 
donnas are quite similar in general type. 
With the exception of the Zingarella, who 
is the most motherly, they are all in a 
playful mood. The same playfulness, but 


of a more sweet and motherly kind, lights 
the face of the Madonna della Scala. The 
composition is somewhat in the portrait 
style, showing the mother in half length, 
seated under a sort of canopy. The babe 
clings closely to her neck, turning about 
at the spectator with a glance half shy 
and half mischievous. His coyness awak- 
ens a smile of tender amusement in the 
gentle, young face above him. 

The picture has an interesting history, 
It was originally painted in fresco over 
the eastern gate of Parma, where Vasari 
saw and admired it. In after years, the 
wall which it decorated was incorporated 
into a small new church, of which it 
formed the rear wall. To accommodate 
the high level of the Madonna, the build- 
ing was somewhat elevated, and, being 
entered by a flight of steps, was known as 
S. Maria della Scala (of the staircase). 
The name attached itself to the picture 



even after the church was destroyed (in 
1812), and the fresco removed to the 
town gallery. The marks of defacement 
which it bears are due to the votive offer- 
ings which were formerly fastened upon 
it, among them, a silver crown worn by 
the Madonna as late as the eighteenth 
century. Though such scars injure its 
artistic beauty, they add not a little to the 
romantic interest which invests it. 

Beside such names as Raphael and 
Correggio, history furnishes but one other 
worthy of comparison for the portrayal of 
the Mater Amabilis it is Titian. His 
Madonna is by no means uniformly moth- 
erly. There are times when we look in 
vain for any softening of her aristocratic 
features ; when her stately dignity seems 
quite incompatible with demonstrative- 
ness. 1 But when love melts her heart 

1 See the Madonna of the Cherries in the Belvedere at 
Vienna, and the Madonna and Saints in the Dresden Gallery, 


how gracious is her unbending, how win- 
ning her smile! Once she goes so far as 
to play in the fields with her little boy, 
quieting a rabbit with one hand for him 
to admire. (La Vierge au Lapin, Louvre.) 
In other pictures she holds him lying 
across her lap, smiling thoughtfully upon 
him. Such an one is the Madonna with 
Sts. Ulfo and Brigida, in the Madrid Gal- 
lery. The child is taking the flowers St. 
Brigida offers him, and his mother looks 
down with the pleased expression of fond 
pride. Again, when her babe holds his 
two little hands full of the roses his cousin 
St. John has brought him, she smiles 
gently at the eagerness of the two chil- 
dren. (Uffizi Gallery.) 

Another similar composition reveals a 
still sweeter intimacy between mother and 
son. The babe stretches out his hand 
coaxingly towards his mother's breast, but 
she draws her veil about her, gently deny- 



ing his appeal. A more beautiful mother, 
or a more bewitching babe, it were hard 
to find. Three fine half-length figures of 
saints complete this composition, each of 
great interest and individuality, but not 
necessary to the unity of action the 
Madonna alone making a complete pic- 
ture. There are two copies of this work, 
one in the Belvedere at Vienna, and one 
in the Louvre at Paris. 

The motif 'of this picture is not unique 
in art, as will have been remarked in 
passing. The first duty of maternity, and 
one of its purest joys, is to sustain the new- 
born life at the mother's breast. A coarse 
interpretation of the subject desecrates a 
holy shrine, while a delicate rendering, 
such as Raphael's or Titian's, invests it 
with a new beauty. Other pictures of 
this class should be mentioned in the 
same connection. There is one in the 
Hermitage Gallery at St. Petersburg, at- 


tributed by late critics to the little -known 
painter, Bernardino de'Conti. The Ma- 
donna's face, her hair drawn smoothly 
over her temples, has a beautiful inatron- 
liness. Still another is the Madonna of 
the Green Cushion, by Solario, in the 
Louvre. Here the babe lies on a cushion 
before his mother, who bends over him 
ecstatically, her fair young face aglow 
with maternal love as she sees his con- 

We have noticed that in one of Cor- 
regio's pictures the babe lies asleep on 
his mother's lap. It is interesting to 
trace this pretty motif through other 
works of art. No phase of motherhood 
is more touching than the watchful care 
which guards the child while he sleeps; 
nor is infancy ever more appealing than 
in peaceful and innocent slumber. Mrs. 
Browning understood this well, when 
she wrote her beautiful poem inter- 


preting the thoughts of "the Virgin 
Mary to the Child Jesus." Hopes and 
fears, joy and pity, are alternately stirred 
in the heart of the watcher, as she bends 
over the tiny face, scanning every change 
that flits across it. Each verse suggests 
a subject for a picture. 

We should naturally expect that Ra- 
phael would not overlook so beautiful a 
theme as the mother watching ' her sleep- 
ing child. Nor are we disappointed. 
The Madonna of the Diadem, in the 
Louvre, belongs to this class of pictures. 
Like the pastoral Madonnas of the Flor- 
entine period, it includes the figure of 
the little St. John, to whom, in this in- 
stance, the proud mother is showing her 
babe, daintily lifting the veil which cov- 
ers his face. 

The seventeenth century produced 
many pictures of this class ; among them, 
a beautiful work by Guido Reni, in Rome, 


deserves mention, being executed with 
greater care than was usual with him. 
Sassoferrato and Carlo Dolce frequently 
painted the subject Their Madonnas 
often seem affected, not to say senti- 
mental, after the simpler and nobler 
types of the earlier period. But nowhere 
is their peculiar sweetness more appro- 
priate than beside a sleeping babe. The 
Corsini picture by Carlo Dolce is an 
exquisite nursery scene. Its popularity 
depends more, perhaps, upon the babe 
than the mother. Like Lady Isobel's 
child in another poem of motherhood 
by Mrs. Browning, he sleeps 

" Fast, warm, as if its mother's smile, 
Laden with love's dewy weight, 
And red as rose of Harpocrate, 
Dropt upon its eyelids, pressed 
Lashes to cheek in a sealed rest." 

In Northern Madonna art, the Mater 
Amabilis is the preeminent subject. 


This fact is due partly to the German 
theological tendency to subordinate the 
mother to her divine Son, but more 
especially to the characteristic domes- 
ticity of Teutonic peoples. From Van 
Eyck and Schongauer, through Diirer 
and Holbein, down to Rembrandt and 
Rubens, we trace this strongly marked 
predilection in every style of composition, 
regardless of proprieties. Van Eyck does 
not hesitate to occupy his richly dressed 
enthroned Madonna at Frankfort with 
giving her breast to her babe, and Diirer 
portrays the same maternal duties in the 
Virgin on the Crescent Moon. Holbein's 
Meyer Madonna, splendid with her jew- 
elled crown, is not less motherly than 
Schongauer's young Virgin sitting in a 
rude stable. 

Rembrandt in humble Dutch interiors, 
Rubens in numerous Holy Families mod- 
elled upon the Flemish life about him, 


always conceive of the Virgin Mother as 
delighting in her maternal cares. As has 
been said of Diirer's Madonna, and 
the description applies equally well to 
many others in the North, "She suckles 
her son with a calm feeling of happiness ; 
she gazes upon him with admiration as 
he lies upon her lap; she caresses him 
and presses him to her bosom without 
a thought whether it is becoming to her, 
or whether she is being admired." 

This entire absence of posing on the 
part of the German Virgin is one of 
the most admirable elements in this art. 
This characteristic is perfectly illustrated 
in Diirer's portrait Madonna of the Bel- 
vedere Gallery, at Vienna. This is an 
excellent specimen of the master, who, 
alone of the Germans, is considered the 
peer of his great Italian contemporaries. 
Frankly admired both by Titian and 
Raphael, he has in common with them 



the supreme gift of seeing and repro- 
ducing natural human affections. His 
work, however, is as thoroughly German 
as theirs is Italian. The Madonna of 
this picture has the round, maidenly face 
of the typical German ideal. A trans- 
parent veil droops over the flowing hair, 
covered by a blue drapery above. The 
mother holds her child high in her 
arms, bending her face over him. The 
babe is a beautiful little fellow, full of 
vivacity. He holds up a pear gleefully, to 
meet his mother's smile. The picture is 
painted with great delicacy of finish. 

The Mater Amabilis is the subject 
par excellence of modern Madonna art 
Carrying on its surface so much beauty 
and significance, it is naturally attractive 
to all figure painters. While other Ma- 
donna subjects are too often beyond the 
comprehension of either the artist or his 
patron, this falls within the range of both. 


The shop windows are full of pretty pic 
tures of this kind, in all styles of treat- 

There are the portrait Madonnas by 
Gabriel Max, already mentioned, and pas- 
toral Madonnas by Bouguereau, by Carl 
Miiller, by N. Barabino, and by Dagnan- 
Bouveret Others carry the subject into 
the more formal compositions of the en- 
throned and enskied Madonnas, being, 
as we have seen, not without illustrious 
predecessors among the old masters. Of 
these we have Quay's Mater Amabilis, 
where the mother leans from her throne 
to support her child, playing on the step 
below with his cousin, St. John ; and 
Mary L. Macomber's picture, where the 
enthroned Madonna folds her babe in 
her protecting arms, as if to shield him 
from impending evil. 

By Bodenhausen we have the extremely- 
popular Mater Amabilis in Gloria, where 



a girlish young mother, her long hair 
streaming about her, stands in upper air, 
poised above the great ball of the earth 5 
holding her sweet babe to her heart 

Pictures like these constantly reiterate 
the story of a mother's love an old, old 
story, which begins again with every new 



5 HE first tender joys of a mother's 
love are strangely mingled with 
awe. Her babe is a precious 
gift of God, which she receives into trem- 
bling hands. A new sense of responsi- 
bility presses upon her with almost 
overwhelming force. Hers is the highest 
honor given unto woman ; she accepts it 
with solemn joy, deeming herself all too 

This spirit of humility has been ideal- 
ized in art, in the form of Madonna known 
as the Madre Pia. It represents the Vir- 
gin Mary adoring her son. Sometimes 


she kneels before him, sometimes she sits 
with clasped hands, holding him in her 
lap. Whatever the variation in attitude, 
the thought is the same : it is an expres- 
sion of that higher, finer aspect of mother- 
hood which regards infancy as an object 
not only of love, but of reverent humility. 
It is a recognition of the great mystery 
of life which invests even the helpless 
babe with a dignity commanding respect. 
A picture with so serious an intention 
can never be widely understood. The 
meaning is too subtile for the casual 
observer. An outgrowth of mediaeval 
pietism, it was superseded by more popu- 
lar subjects, and has never since been 
revived. The subject had its origin as 
an idealized nativity, set in pastoral sur- 
roundings which suggest the Bethlehem 
manger. Theologically it represented the 
Virgin as the first worshipper of her 
divine Son. But though the sacred mys- 


tery of Mary's experience sets her forever 
apart as " blessed among women," she is 
the type of true motherhood in all genera- 

The Madonna in Adoration is, properly 
speaking, a fifteenth century subject. It 
belongs primarily to that most mystic of 
all schools of art, the Umbrian, centering 
in the town of Perugia. Nowhere else 
was painting so distinctly an adjunct of re- 
ligious services, chiefly designed to aid the 
worshipper in prayer and contemplation. 

As an exponent of the typical qualities 
of the Perugian school stands the artist 
who is known by its name, Perugino. His 
favorite subject is the Madre Pia, and his 
best picture of the kind is the Madonna 
of the National Gallery. Having once 
seen her here, the traveller recognizes her 
again and again in other galleries, in the 
many replicas of this charming composi- 
tion. The Madonna kneels in the fore- 


ground, adoring with folded hands the 
child, who is supported in a sitting pos- 
ture on the ground, by a guardian angel 
The Virgin's face is full of fervent and 
exalted emotion. 

Perugino had no direct imitator of his 
Madre Pia, but his Bolognese admirer 
Francia treated the subject in a way that 
readily suggests the source of his inspira- 
tion. His Madonna of the Rose Garden 
in Munich instantly recalls Perugino. The 
artist has, however, chosen a novel motif 
in representing the moment when the 
Virgin is just sinking on her knees, as if 
overcome by emotion. 

Between the Umbrian school and the 
Florentine, a reciprocal influence was ex- 
erted. If the latter taught the former 
many secrets of composition and techni- 
cal execution, the Umbrians in turn im- 
parted something of their mysticism to 
their more matter-of-fact neighbors. While 


the Umbrian school of the fifteenth cen- 
tury was occupied with the Madre Pia, 
Florence also was devoted to the same 
subject Sculpture led the race, and in 
the front ranks was Luca della Robbia, 
founder of the school which bears his 
family name. 

Beginning as a worker in marble, his 
inventive genius presently wrought out 
a style of sculpture peculiarly his own. 
This was the enamelled terra-cotta bas- 
relief showing pure white figures against 
a background of pale blue. They were 
made chiefly in circular medallions, lu- 
nettes, and tabernacles, and were scattered 
throughout the churches and homes of 

Associated with Luca in his work was 
his nephew Andrea, who, in turn, had 
three sculptor sons, Giovanni, Girolamo, 
and Luca II. So great was the demand 
for their ware that the Della Robbia 


studios became a veritable manufactory 
from which hundreds of pieces went 
forth. Of these, a goodly number rep- 
resent the Madonna in Adoration. While 
it is difficult to trace every one of these 
with absolute correctness to its individ- 
ual author, the majority seem to be by 
Andrea, who, as 'it would appear, had a 
special fondness for the subject. It must 
be acknowledged that the nephew is in- 
ferior to his uncle in his ideal of the 
Virgin, less original than Luca in his 
conceptions, and less noble in his results. 
His work, notwithstanding, has many 
charming qualities, which are specially 
appropriate to the character of the par- 
ticular subject under consideration. There 
is, indeed, a peculiar value in low relief, 
for purposes of idealization. It has an 
effect of spiritualizing the material, and 
giving the figures an ethereal appear- 
ance. Andrea profited by this advan- 


tage, and, in addition, showed great 
delicacy of judgment in subduing curves 
and retaining simplicity in his lines. 

We may see all this in the popular 
tabernacle which he designed, and of 
which there are at least five, and prob- 
ably more, copies. The Madonna kneels 
prayerfully before her babe, who lies on 
the ground by some lily stalks. In the 
sky above are two cherubim and hands 
holding a crown. There is a girlish grace 
in the kneeling figure, and a rare sweet- 
ness in the face, entirely free from senti- 
mentality. A severe simplicity of drapery, 
and the absence of all unnecessary ac- 
cessories, are points of excellence worth 
noting. The composition was sometimes 
varied by the introduction of different 
figures in the sky, other cherubim, or the 
head of the Almighty, with the Dove. 
Only second in popularity to this was 
Andrea's circular medallion of the Na- 



tivity, with the Virgin and St. John in 
adoration. There are two copies of 
this in the Florentine Academy, one in 
the Louvre, and one in Berlin. The ef- 
fect of crowding so many figures into 
a small compass is not so pleasing as 
the classical simplicity of the former 

Contemporary with the Delia Robbias 
was another Florentine family of artists 
equally numerous. Of the five Rossel- 
lini, Antonio is of greatest interest to 
us, as a sculptor who had some qualities 
in common with the famous porcelain 
workers. Like them, he had a special 
gift for the Madonna in Adoration. We 
can see this subject in his best style of 
treatment, in the beautiful Nativity in 
San Miniato, "which may be regarded 
as one of the most charming productions 
of the best period of Tuscan art." ' The 

1 C. C. Perkins, in Tuscan Sculpton. 


tourist will consider it a rich reward for 
his climb to the quaint old church on 
the ramparts overhanging the Arno. If 
perchance his wanderings lead him, on 
another occasion, to the hill rising on 
the opposite side, he will find, in the 
Cathedral of Fiesole, a fitting compan- 
ion in the altar-piece by Mino da Fiesole. 
This is a decidedly unique rendering of 
the Madre Pia. The Virgin kneels in a 
niche, facing the spectator, adoring the 
Christ-child, who sits on the steps below 
her, turning to the little Baptist, who 
kneels at one side on a still lower step. 

Passing from the sculpture of Florence 
to its painting, it is fitting that we men- 
tion first of all the friend and fellow-pupil 
of the Umbrian Perugino, Lorenzo di 
Credi. The two had much in common. 
Trained together in the workshop of the 
sculptor Verrocchio, in those days of 
intense religious stress, they both became 



followers of the prophet prior of San 
Marco, Savonarola, Their religious ear- 
nestness naturally found expression in the 
beautiful subject of the Madre Pia. The 
Florentine artist, though not less devout 
than his friend, introduces into his work 
an element of joy, characteristic of his 
surroundings, and more attractive than 
the somewhat melancholy types of Um- 
bria. His Adoration, in the Uffizi, is 
an admirable example of his best work. 
Following the fashion made popular by 
the Delia Robbias, the artist chose for 
his composition the round picture, or 
tow do. By tli is elimination of unneces- 
sary corners, the attention centres in the 
beautiful figure of the Virgin, which 
occupies a large portion of the circle. 
In exquisite keeping with the modest 
loveliness of her face, a delicate, trans- 
parent veil is knotted over her smooth 
hair, and falls over the round curves of 


her neck. In expression and attitude 
she is the perfect impersonation of the 
spirit of humility, joyfully submissive to 
her high calling, reverently acknowledg- 
ing her unworthiness. 

This picture may be taken as a typ- 
ical example of the subject in Florentine 
painting. Lorenzo himself repeated the 
composition many times, and numerous 
other works could be mentioned, strik- 
ingly similar in treatment, by Ghirlandajo, 
in the Florence Academy ; by Signorelli, 
in the National Gallery; by Albertinelli, in 
the Pitti ; by Filippo Lippi, in the Berlin 
Gallery; by Filippino Lippi, in the Pitti; 
and so on through the list. 

In many cases the subject seems to 
have been chosen, not so much from any 
devotional spirit on the part of the painter, 
as from force of imitation of the prevail- 
ing Florentine fashion. This is espe- 
cially true in the case of Filippo Lippi 


who does not bear the best of reputa- 
tions. Although a brother in the Car- 
melite monastery, his love of worldly 
pleasures often led him astray, if we are 
to believe the gossip of the old annalists, 
We may allow much for the exaggera- 
tions of scandal, but still be forced to 
admit that his candid realism is plain 
evidence of a closer study of nature than 
of theology. 

Browning has given us a fine analysis 
of his character in the poem bearing his 
name, " Fra Lippo Lippi." The artist 
monk, caught in the streets of the city on 
his return from some midnight revel, ex- 
plains his constant quarrel with the rules of 
art laid down by ecclesiastical authorities. 
They insist that his business is "to the 
souls of men," and that it is "quite from 
the mark of painting" to make "faces, 
arms, legs, and bodies like the true." On 
his part, he claims that it will not help 


the interpretation of soul, by painting 
body ill. An intense lover of every beau- 
tiful line and color in God's world, he 
believes that these things are given us 
to be thankful for, not to pass over or 
despise. Obliged to devote himself to a 
class of subjects with which he had little 
sympathy, he compromised with his crit- 
ics by adopting the traditional forms of 
composition, and treating them after the 
manner of genre painters, in types drawn 
from the ordinary life about him. The 
kneeling Madre Pia he painted three 
times : two of the pictures are in the 
Florence Academy, and the third and 
best is in the Berlin Gallery. 

In the Madonna of the Uffizi, he broke 
away somewhat from tradition, and ren- 
dered quite a new version of the subject. 
The Virgin is seated with folded hands, 
adoring her child, who is held up before 
her by tAvo boy angels. His type of child- 


hood is by no means pretty, though alto- 
gether natural. The Virgin cannot be 
called either intellectual or spiritual, but 
" where," as a noted critic has asked, " can 
we find a face more winsome and appeal- 
ing ? " Certainly she is a lovely woman^ 

"If you get simple beauty and naught else, 
That's somewhat : and you'll find the soul you 

have missed 
Within yourself, when you return him thanks." 

The idea of the seated Madre Pia, com- 
paratively rare in Florentine art, is quite 
frequent in northern Italy. Sometimes 
the setting is a landscape, in the fore- 
ground of which the Madonna sits ador- 
ing the babe lying on her lap. Ex- 
amples are by Basaiti (Paduan), in the 
National Gallery, and by a painter of 
Titian's school, in Berlin. Much -more 
common is the enthroned Madonna in 


Adoration, and for this we may turn to 
the pictures of the Vivarini, Bartolom- 
meo and Luigi, or Alvise. These men 
were of Muranese origin, and in the very 
beginning of Venetian art history were 
at the head of their profession, until 
finally eclipsed by the rival family of the 
Bellini. Among their works, we find by 
each one at least three pictures of the 
type described. As the most worthy of 
description, we may select the altar-piece 
by Luigi, in the Church of the Redentore. 
As it is one of the most popular Madonnas 
in Venice, no collection is complete with- 
out it. A green curtain forms the back- 
ground, against which the plain marble 
throne-chair is brought into relief. The 
Virgin sits wrapt in her own thoughts, an 
impersonation of tranquil dignity. A 
heavy wimple falls low over her forehead, 
entirely concealing her hair, and with its 
severe simplicity accentuating the chaste 



beauty of her face. Two fascinating little 
cherubs sit on a parapet in front, playing 
on lutes ; and, lulled by their gentle music, 
the sweet babe sleeps on, serenely uncon- 
scious of it all. 

Before such pictures as this, gleaming 
in the dim light of quiet chapels, many a 
heart, before unbelieving, may learn a new 
reverence for the mysterious sanctity of 



|N proportion to a mother's ideals 
and ambitions for her child does 
her love take on a higher and 
purer aspect. The noblest mother is the 
most unselfish; she regards her child as 
a sacred charge, only temporarily com- 
mitted to her keeping. Her care is to 
nurture and train him for his part in life ; 
this is the object of her constant endeavor. 
Thus she comes to look upon him as hers 
and yet not hers. In one sense he is her 
very own ; in another, he belongs to the 
universal life which he is to serve. There 
is no conflict between the two ideas ; they 
are the obverse sides of one great truth. 

Both must be recognized for a complete 


understanding of life. What is true of all 
motherhood finds a supreme illustration 
in the character of the Virgin Mary. She 
understood from the first that her son had 
a great mission to fulfil, that his work had 
somewhat to do with a mighty kingdom. 
Never for a moment did she lose sight of 
these things as she " pondered them in her 
heart" Her highest joy was to present 
him to the world for the fulfilment of his 

As a subject of art, this phase of the 
Madonna's character requires a mode of 
treatment quite unlike that of the Mater 
Amabilis or the Maclrc Pia. The atti- 
tude and expression of the Virgin are 
appropriate to her office as the Christ- 
bearer. Both mother and child, no 
longer absorbed in each other, direct 
their glance towards the people to whom 
he is given for a witness. (Isaiah 55 : 4.) 
These may be the spectators looking 


at the picture, or the saints and votaries 
filling the composition. The mother's 
lap is the throne for the child, from 
which, standing or sitting, he gives his 
royal blessing. 

It will be readily understood that so 
lofty a theme can not be common in art. 
In our own day, it has, with the Madre 
Pia, passed almost entirely out of the 
range of art subjects; modern painters 
do not try such heights. Franz Defreg^ 
ger is alone in having made an honest 
and earnest effort, not without success, to 
express his conception of the theme. To 
his Enthroned Madonna at Dolsach, and , 
his less well-known Madonna in Glory, 
let us pay this passing word of honor. 

To approach our subject in the most 
systematic way, we will go back to the 
beginnings of Madonna art. Mrs. Jame- 
son tells us that the group of Virgin 
and Son was, in its first intention, a 


theological symbol, and not a representa- 
tion, It was a device set up in the ortho- 
dox churches as a definite formalization 
of a creed. The first Madonnas showed 
none of the aspects of ordinary mother- 
hood in attitude, gesture, or expression. 
The theological element in the picture 
was the first consideration. We may 
take as a representative case the Virgin 
Nike-pcja (of Victory), supposed to be 
the same which Eudocia, wife of the 
Emperor Theodosius II., discovered in 
her travels in Palestine, and sent to 
Constantinople, whence it was finally 
brought to St. Mark's, Venice. The 
Virgin a half-length figure holds the 
child in front of her, like a doll, as if 
exhibiting him to the gaze of the wor- 
shippers before the altar over which the 
picture hung. Both faces look directly 
out at the spectator, with grave and stiff 


The progress of painting, and the 
growing love of beauty, at length wrought 
a change. The time came when art 
saw the possibility of uniting, with the 
religious conception of previous centu- 
ries, a more natural ideal of motherhood. 
Thus, while the Madonna continues to 
be preeminently a witness of her son's 
greatness, it is not at the sacrifice of 
motherly tenderness. 

In Venetian art-history, Giovanni Bel- 
lini stands at the period when the old 
was just merging into the new. We 
have already seen how greatly he and 
his contemporaries differed from the 
painters of a later time. Taking advan- 
tage of all the progressive methods of 
the day, they did not relinquish the re- 
ligious spirit of their predecessors, hence 
their work embodies the best elements 
of the old and new. As we examine the 
Bellini Madonnas, one after another, we 


can not fail to notice how delicately they 
interpret the relation of the mother to her 

Loving and gracious as she is, she is 
not the Mater Amabilis: she is too pre- 
occupied, though not too cold for ca- 
resses. Neither is she the Madre Pia, 
though by no means lacking in humility. 
Her thoughts are of the future, rather 
than of the present. True to a mother's 
instinct, she encircles her child with a 
protecting arm, but her face is turned, 
riot to his, but to the world. Both are 
looking steadfastly forward to the great 
work before them. Their eyes have the 
far-seeing look of those absorbed in noble 
dreams. Their faces are full of sweet 
earnestness, not of the ascetic sort, but 
joyful, with a calm, tranquil gladness. 

This description applies almost equally 
well to a half dozen or more of Bellini's 
Madonna,s, in various styles of compo- 


sition. For the sake of definiteness, we 
may specify the Madonna between St. 
Paul and St. George in the Venice Acad- 
emy. The Virgin is in half-length, against 
a scarlet curtain, supporting the child, 
who stands on the coping of a balcony. 
In technical qualities alone, the picture 
is a notable one for precision of drawing, 
breadth of light and shade, and brilliant 
color. In Christian sentiment it is among 
the rare treasures of Italian art. The 
National Gallery and the Brera contain 
others which are very similar in style and 

The three enthroned Madonnas which 
have already been noticed are not less 
remarkable for religious significance. 
There is a peculiar freshness and vi- 
vacity in the San Giobbe picture. Both 
Virgin and child are alert and eager, 
welcoming the future with smiling and 
youthful enthusiasm. The Frari Ma* 



donna is of a more subdued type, but is 
not less true to her ideal. The Virgin 
of San Zaccaria is more thoughtful and 
reflective, but she holds her child up 
bravely, that he may give his blessing to 

It will have been noticed that the 
throne is an especially appropriate set- 
ting for the Madonna as Witness. It is 
one of the functions of royalty that the 
queen should show the prince to his 
people. We therefore turn naturally to 
this class of pictures for examples. To 
those of Bellini just cited we may add, 
from the others mentioned in the second 
chapter, the Madonnas by Cima, by 
Palma, and by Montagna in Venetian 
Art; and by Luini and by Botticelli in 
the Lombard and Florentine schools re- 
spectively. Luini's picture is one which 
readily touches the heart. The Virgin 
unites the sweetness of fresh, young 


motherhood with womanly dignity ot 
character. Her smile has nothing of 
mystery in it; it is simply sweet and 
winning. The Christ-child is a lovely 
boy, steadying himself against his moth- 
er's breast, and yet with an air of self- 
reliance. The two understand each other 

One could hardly imagine two more 
dissimilar spirits than Luini and Botti- 
cellL To Luini's Virgin, the conscious- 
ness of her son's greatness is a proud 
honor, accepted seriously, but gladly. To 
Botticelli, on the other hand, it brings a 
profound melancholy. This is so marked 
that at first sight almost every one is 
repelled by Botticelli, and yields only after 
long familiarity to the mysterious fascina- 
tion of the sad-eyed Madonna, who holds 
her babe almost listlessly, as her head 
droops with the weight of her sorrow. 
Her expression is the same whatever her 



attitude, when she presses her babe to 
her bosom as the Mater Amabilis (in 
the Borghese Gallery at Rome, in the 
Dresden Gallery, and Louvre), or when, 
as witness to her son's destiny, she holds 
him forth to be seen of men. It is in 
this last capacity that her mood is most 
intelligible. She seems oppressed rather 
than humbled by her honors; reluctant, 
rather than glad to assume them; yet, 
with proud dignity, determined to do 
her part, though her heart break in the 
doing. Her nature is too deep to accept 
the joy without counting the cost, and 
her vision looks beyond Bethlehem to 
Calvary. This is well illustrated in the 
picture of the Berlin Gallery. 1 The queen 

1 The Berlin Gallery contains two Enthroned Madon- 
nas attributed to Botticelli. The description here, and on 
page 40 makes it clear that the reference is to the picture 
numbered 102. This does not appear in Berenson's list of 
Botticelli's works, but is treated as authentic by Crowe and 


mother rises with the prince to receive 
the homage of humanity. The boy, old 
beyond his years, gravely raises his right 
hand to bless his people, the other still 
clinging, with infantile grace, to the dress 
of his mother. Lovely, rose -crowned 
angels hold court on either side, bearing 
lighted tapers in jars of roses. 

The Madonna of the Pomegranate is 
another work by Botticelli which belongs 
in this class of pictures. It is a tondo in 
the Uffizi, showing the figures in half 
length. The Virgin, encircled by angels, 
holds the child half reclining on her lap. 
Her face is inexpressibly sad, and the 
child shares her mood, as he raises his 
little hand to bless the spectator. Two 
angels bear the Virgin's flowers, roses 
and lilies ; two others hold books. They 
bend towards the queen as the petals of 
a rose bend towards the centre, with the 
serious grace peculiar to Botticelli, 




In connection with the peculiar type of 
melancholy exhibited on the face of Botti- 
celli's Madonna, it will be of interest to 
refer to the work of Francia. The two 
artists were, in some points, kindred 
spirits ; both felt the burden of life's mys- 
tery and sorrow. Francia, as we have 
seen, imbibed from the works of Perugino 
something of the spirit of mysticism com- 
mon to the Umbrian school. But while 
there is a certain resemblance between 
his Madonna and Perugino's, the former 
has less of sentimentality than the latter, 
and more real melancholy. Like Botti- 
celli's Virgin, she acts her part half-heart- 
edly, as if the sword had already begun to 
pierce her heart Francia's favorite Ma- 
donna subjects were of the higher order, 
the Madre Pia and the Madonna as Wit- 
ness. In treating the latter, his Christ- 
child is always in keeping with the mother, 
a grave little fellow who gives the bless- 


ing with almost touching dignity. En- 
throned Madonnas illustrating the theme 
are those of the Hermitage at St. Peters- 
burg, of the Belvedere at Vienna, and the 
famous Bentivoglio Madonna in S. Jacopo 
Maggiore at Bologna. The last-named is 
one of the works which enable us to un- 
derstand Raphael's high praise of the 
Bolognese master. It is a noble composi- 
tion, full of strong religious feeling. 

It is a long leap from the fifteenth to 
the seventeenth centuries, taking us from 
a period of genuine religious fervor in art, 
into an age of artificial imitation. In the 
midst of the decadence of old ideals and 
the birth of art methods entirely new, 
arose one who seemed to be the reincarna- 
tion of the old spirit in a form peculiar tc 
his age and race. This was Murillo, the 
peasant-painter of Spain, than whom was 
never artist more pious, not even except- 
ing the angelic brother of San Marco, 



h ;-- a ; roe ; 'i >^ seventeenth century kept 
aluv , x , :x j .ame of religious fervor, 
whit. 1 : \ o turned within the devout 
Italiz. i or ''.'..' early school Through all 
his p^'uxj y the Virgin and child we 
can sec that *-po Madonna as the Christ- 
bearer k f '-e 'deal ' r always has in view. 
He falls s vjr, ^ i-,, ^C-L through any lack 
of earnest s&, ; )ii; because his type of 
womauhooG '- inc:ipai\e or expressing such 
lofty idealism liis virgui?:* are modelled 
upon the simplu ^ndalusian maidens, 
sweet, 1 timid, dark-'oyed creatures. Their 
faces glow with gentle affection as they 
look wistfully out of the picture, or raise 
their eyes to heaven, as if dimly discern- 
ing the heights which they have never 

The Pitti Madonna is one of this sweet 
company, and perhaps the loveliest of 
them all Both she and her beautiful boy 
are full of gentle earnestness, and if they 


are too simple-minded to realize what is 
in store for them, they are none the less 
ready to do the Father's will 

One more picture remains for us to 
consider as an illustration of the Ma- 
donna as Witness. Had we mentioned 
it first, nothing further could have been 
said on the subject. The Sistine Madonna 
is the greatest ever produced, from every 
point of view. We have already noted 
the superiority of its artistic composition 
over all other enskied Madonnas, and are 
the more ready to appreciate its higher 
merits ; for its strongest hold upon our 
admiration is in its moral and religious 
significance. Its theme is the transfigur- 
ation of loving and consecrated mother- 
hood. Mother and child, united in love, 
move towards the glorious consummation 
of the heavenly kingdom. 

It has been said that Raphael made 
no preparatory studies for this Madonna, 



but, in a larger sense, he spent his life 
in preparation for it. He had begun 
by imitating the mystic sweetness of 
Perugino's types, drawn by an intuitive 
delicacy of perception to this spiritual 
idealism, while yet too inexperienced to, 
express any originality. Then, by an 
inevitable reaction, he threw himself into 
the creation of a purely naturalistic Ma- 
donna, and carried the Mater Amabilis to 
its utmost perfection. Having mastered 
all the secrets of woman's beauty, he 
returned once more to the higher realm 
of idealism to send forth his matured 
conception of the Madonna as the Christ- 

The Sistine Madonna is above all 
words of praise; all extravagance of ex- 
pression is silenced before her simplicity. 
Hers is the beauty of symmetrically de- 
veloped womanhood ; the perfect poise of 
her figure is not more marked than the 


perfect poise of her character. Not one 
false note, not one exaggerated emphasis, 
jars upon the harmony of body, soul, and 
spirit Confident, but entirely unassum- 
ing ; serious, but without sadness ; joyous, 
but not to mirthfulness ; eager, but with- 
out haste; she moves steadily forward 
with steps timed to the rhythmic music 
of the spheres. The child is no burden, 
but a part of her very being. The two 
are one in love, thought, and purpose. 
Sharing the secret of his sacred calling, 
the mother bears her son forth to meet 
his glorious destiny. 

Art can pay no higher tribute to Mary, 
the Mother of Jesus, than to show her in 
this phase of her motherhood. We sym- 
pathize with her maternal tenderness, 
lavishing fond caresses upon her child. 
We go still deeper into her experience 
when we see her bowed in sweet humility 
before the cares and duties she is called 


upon to assume. But we are admitted to 
the most cherished aspirations of her soul, 
when \ve see her oblivious of self, carrying 
her child forth to the service of humanity. 
It is thus that she becomes one of his 
"witnesses unto the people; " it is thus that 
a all generations shall call her blessed." 


MRS. ANNA JAMESON: The Legends of the Madonna, 
Boston, 1896. 

CROWE AND CAVALCASEL.LE : History of Painting in 
Italy. London, 1864. History of Painting in North 
Italy. London, 1871. Titian: His Life and 
Times. London, 1877. 

KUGLER: Handbook of the Italian Schools, revised by 
A. H. Layard. London, 1887. Handbook of the 
German, Flemish, and Dutch Schools, revised by 
J. A. Crowe. London, 1889. 

MORELLI: Critical Studies of the Italian Painters. 
Translated by Constance Jocelyn Ffoulkes. Lon- 
don, 1892. 

J. A. SYMONDS : Renaissance in Italy : The Fine Arts. 
New York, 1888. 

WALTER H. PATER: Studies in the History of the 
Renaissance. London, 1873. 

BERNHARD BERENSON : The Venetian Painters of the 
Renaissance. New York, 1894. The Florentine 
Painters of the Renaissance. New York, 1896. 


KARL KAROLY : A Guide to the Paintings of Florence. 

London and New York, 1893. A Guide to the 

Paintings of Venice. London and New York, 1895. 
C. C. PERKINS: Tuscan Sculptors. London, 1864. 
CAVALUCCI ET MOLINIER : Les Delia Robbia : leur vie 

et leur ceuvre. Paris, 1884. 
EUGENE MUNTZ: Raphael. Translated by Walter 

Armstrong. London, 1882. 


Albertinelli, Madonna in the Pitti, 172. 

Angelico, Fra, Madonna della Stella, 66-69, r 3 2 - 

Barabino, N., Mater Amabilis, 1 54. 

Barocci, F., Madonna del Gatto, 126. 

Bartolommeo, Madonna in the Capella Giovanato, 30; Ma- 
donnas in the Florence Academy, 31 ; Enthroned Madon- 
na in the Pitti, 42, 47. 

Basaiti, Madonna in the National Gallery, 177. 

Bellini, Giovanni, Madonna of San Giobbe, 50, 188 ; Frari 
Madonna, 50, 191 ; Madonna of San Zaccaria, 50-53, 191 ; 
Madonna between St. Paul and St. George, 188; Ma- 
donna in the National Gallery, 188; Madonna in the 
Brera, iSS. 

Bellini, Jacopo, Madonna in the Venice Academy, 25. 

Bodenhausen, Madonna, 90, 1 54. 

Bonifazio Veronese, Seven pictures of the Santa Conversa- 
zione, 115. 

Botticelli, Enthroned Madonna at Berlin, 40, 191, 195, 196; 
Madonna in the Borghese, 195 , Madonna in the Dres- 
den Gallery, 195 ; Madonna in the Louvre, 195 ; Madonna 
of the Pomegranate, 196; Madonna of the Inkhorn, 59. 

Bouguereau, Enthroned Madonna, 64 ; Madonna of the An- 
gels, 90 ; Mater Amabilis, 1 54. 

Byzantine Madonna in the Ara Coeli, 25; in S. Maria in 
Cosmedino, 25 ; in St. Mark's, 25, 185 ; at Padua, 25. 

Cano, Alonzo, Madonna of Bethlehem, 32. 


Caroto, Gianfrancesco, Madonna in Sant' Anastasia, So; 

Madonna in San Giorgio, 80 ; Madonna in San Fenno 

Maggiore, So. 
Cavazzola, see Morando. 

Cima, Enthroned Madonna in the Venice Academy, 49, 191. 
Cimabue, Ruccellai Madonna, 38-39. 

Conti, Bernardino de', Madonna in the Hermitage Gallery, 146. 
Correggio, Madonnas in Dresden, 45 ; Madonna of St Sebas- 
tian, 70; Madonna in the tiffin, 106, 136; La Zingarella, 

1 06, 137, 146; Madonna della Cesta, 136; Madonna 

della Scala, 138, 141. 

Credi, Lorenzo di, Nativity in the Uffizi, 171. 
Crivelli, Carlo, Use of Crown by, 59. 
Dagnan-Bouveret, Mater Amabilis, 154. 
Defregger, Franz, Madonna at Dolsach, 184; Madonna in 

Glory, 90, 184. 
Dolce, Carlo, Madonna, 148. 
Durer, Woodcut, 60; Madonna in "garden inclosed," 115; 

Madonna in the Belvedere, 150-153; Virgin on the 

Crescent Moon, 89, 149. 
Eyck, Van, Madonna in Frankfort, 60, 1 49. 
Fiesole, Mino da, Altar-piece at Fiesole, 168. 
Francia, Madonna of the Rose Garden, 115, 161 ; Enthroned 

Madonna in the Hermitage, 200 ; Enthroned Madonna 

in the Belvedere, 200 ; Bentivoglio Madonna, 200. 
Ghirlandajo, Enthroned Madonna in the Uffizi, 40 ; Madonna 

in the Florence Academy, 172. 
Giorgione, Madonna of Castel - Franco, 54 ; Madonna in 

Madrid, 54. 

Guay, Mater Amabilis, 1 54. 
Holbein, Meyer Madonna, 60, 149, 
Ittenbach, Enthroned Madonna, 64. 
Leonardo da Vinci, see Vinci. 
Libri, Girolamo dai, Madonna in San Giorgio Maggiore, 

Verona, 48 ; Madonna of St. Andrew and St. Peter, 8x. 


Lippi, Filippino, Madonna in the Pitti, 115-116, 172. 

Lippi, Filippo, Madonna in the Berlin Gallery, 172, 174 ; Ma- 
donnas in the Florence Academy, 174; Madonna in the 
Uffizi, 174-177- 

Lotto, Madonna of S. Bartolommeo, 48; Santa Conversa- 
zione, 115. 

Luini, Madonna between St. Anthony and St. Barbara, 45, 
191-192; Pastoral Madonna, 104-105. 

Macomber, Mary L., Madonna, 154. 

Mantegna, Madonna of Victory, 41, 48. 

Mariotto, Bernardino di, Madonna, 47. 

Massys, Quentin, Enthroned Madonna in the Berlin Gallery 
63, 132 ; Madonna in the Munich Gallery, 121. 

Max, Gabriel, Madonnas, 35, 154. 

Memling, Madonna at Bruges, 60. 

Mignard, La Vierge & la Grappe, 126. 

Montagna, Madonna in the Brera, 40, 191. 

Morando, Madonna in Glory in Verona Gallery, 81. 

Moretto, Madonna of S. Clemente, 48 ; Madonna of St. John 
the Evangelist, 77 ; Madonna of San Giorgio Maggiore, 
77; Madonna in the Berlin Gallery, 78-79. 

MUller, Carl, Mater Amabilis, 154. 

Murano, Giovanni da, Use of Crown by, 59. 

Murillo, Madonna of thu Napkin, 32 ; Holy Family of the 
Bird, 126; Madonna in the Pitti, 203-204. 

Palma, Enthroned Madonna at Vicenza, 49, 191 ; Santa Con- 
versazione at Naples, in ; Santa Conversazione at Dres- 
den, in ; Santa Conversazione at Munich, in ; Santa 
Conversazione at Vienna, nr, 112. 

Perugino, Enthroned Madonna in the Vatican, 45; Madonna 
in the National Gallery, 160. 

Pinturicchio, Madonna in St. Andrea, Perugia, 46. 

Raphael, Ansidei Madonna, 46, 133; Madonna of St. An- 
thony, 47 ; Baldacchino Madonna, 47 ; Madonna of the 
'Jasii Alba, 99; the Chair Madonna, 134 j the Colonna 


Madonna, 133; the Conestabile Madonna, 133; Jla- 
donna of the Diadem, 147; Foligno Madonna, 84-85; 
Granduca Madonna, 29 ; Madonna of the Goldfinch, 93, 
97, 98; Holy Family of Francis I., 133 ; Holy Family of 
the Lamb, 100, 105; Madonna dell' Impannata, 125; 
Belle Jardiniere, 93, 97, 98 ; Madonna in the Meadow, 
93 97 9^ 99> IO 4> Orleans Madonna, 126, 133; Sistine 
Madonna, 85, 204, 208 ; Tempi Madonna, 30, 133. 

Rembrandt, Le Menage du Menuisier in the Louvre, 1 27 ; in 
St. Petersburg, 127; Madonna in the Munich Gallery, 

Reni, Guido, Madonna, 147. 

Robbia, Andrea della, Popular tabernacle, 164; Nativity, 

i6 7 . 

Robbia, Giovanni, Son of Andrea, 162. 

Robbia, Girolamo della, Son of Andrea, 162. 

Robbia, Luca della, Founder of his school, 162. 

Robbia, Luca della, II., Son of Andrea, 162. 

Romano, Giulio, Madonna della Catina, 125; his work on 
the Madonna dell' Impannata, 125 ; Madonna in a Bed- 
chamber, 125. 

Rossellino, Antonio, Nativity in Sari Miniato, 167. 

Rubens, Holy Families, 149. 

Salimbeni, Holy Family, 126. 

Sarto, Andrea del, Madonna di San Francesco, 42 ; Madonna 
in the Berlin Gallery, 69. 

Sassoferrato, Madonna in Vatican Gallery, 89; Madonna 
with Sleeping Child, 148. 

Savoldo, Madonna in the Brera, 79. 

Schongauer, Madonna in Munich, 60 ; Holy Family, 121-123, 

Siena, Guido da, Madonna, 38. 

Signorelli, Nativity in the National Gallery, 172. 

Sodoma, Madonna in the 1'rera, 104 (note). 

Solario, Madonna of the Green Cushion, 146. 

Lo Spagna, Madonna once attributed to, 73, 


Spanish School, Madonna in the Dresden Gallery, 89. 

Tintoretto, Madonna in the Berlin Gallery, 89. 

Titian, Vierge au Lapin, 115 (note), 142; Madonna of the 

Cherries, 141 (note) ; Madonnas and Saints at Dresden, 

141 (note) ; Madonna with Sts. Ulfo and Brigida, 142 ; 

Madonna with Roses, 142 ; Madonna and Saints, 145 ; 

Pesaro Madonna, 56. 

Titian, School of, Madonna in Berlin, 177. 
Umbrian School, Madonna by, in the National Gallery, 73-74. 
Veronese, Madonna in the Venice Academy, 56. 
Vinci, Leonardo da, Madonna of the Rocks, 100-104. 
Vivarini, Bartolommeo, Madonnas, 178. 
Vivarini, Luigi, Madonna in the Church of the Redentore,