LIPPO DI DALMASIO
(b. ca. 1350, Bologna, d. 1410, Bologna)
Madonna of Humilityc. 1390
Egg tempera on canvas, 110 x 88 cm
National Gallery, London
The Virgin and the Child, who rests one arm on her shoulder, the other reaching for her veil, are both surrounded by the sun in glory. Twelve stars encircle the Virgin's halo and the crescent moon is at her feet. In each corner at the top are three adoring angels.
The moon and the twelve stars link the Madonna of Humility with the Woman of the Apocalypse (Revelation 12:1), who is described as "clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars". This combination was most common in north Italian painting, as was the placing of the Madonna of Humility on a flowered ground.