SIRANI, Elisabetta
(b. 1638, Bologna, d. 1665, Bologna)

Virgin and Child

Oil on canvas, 86 x 70 cm
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington

Mary is portrayed not as a remote queen of Heaven, but rather, as a very real, young Italian mother, wearing the turban favoured by Bolognese peasant women, who gazes adoringly at the plump baby on her lap.