Mar 6, 2007

Madonna of Humility

Madonna of Humility

late 1370s

Caterino Veneziano

(Italian, active 1362–82)

Tempera and gold on wood panel

Framed: 91.5 x 70 x 4 cm (36 x 27 9/16 x 1 9/16 in.); Unframed: 79.6 x 54.6 cm (31 5/16 x 21 1/2 in.)

Gift of Dr. Rudolf J. Heinemann 1963.500

Did you know?

This panel used to be part of a larger altarpiece; it was cut down and reframed some time in the 1800s.


The Madonna is shown seated on the ground as she nurses the infant Christ in a style of depiction called the "Madonna (or Virgin) of Humility." This type of image shows Mary’s humility, or humilitas in Latin, sitting on the earth just with a cushion in contrast to her usual depiction with a throne. The virtue of humility was propagated especially by St. Francis of Assisi and found its way into painting since the 1350s in the wake of the Black Death.

See also
MED - Medieval Art
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 

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