(b. ca. 1345, San Quirico d'Orcia, d. ca. 1411)

Madonna Lactans

Tempera on panel
Duomo, Siena

This painting is placed in the centre of the Carrara marble Piccolomini Altar by Andrea Bregno in the left nave of Siena Cathedral.

The Madonna Lactans (Nursing Madonna), is an iconography of the Madonna and Child in which the Virgin Mary is shown breastfeeding the infant Jesus.

The depiction is mentioned by Pope Gregory the Great, and a mosaic depiction probably of the 12th century is on the façade of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome, though few other examples survive from before the late Middle Ages. It continued to be found in Orthodox icons, especially in Russia.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.