The Birth of Mary

17th century?
Church of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo

This painting is an example of how later artists subordinated reverence and fidelity to the sources to fashion and showmanship. Medieval painters pictured St. Anne in middle age because the legends all said she was 20 years into her marriage when Mary was conceived. But here she is pictured as an wrinkled old crone. And her daughter, heretofore honored as the God-Bearer and Queen of Heaven, is a yeowling nuisance consigned to the lower left corner, in the arms of a young woman who looks to the viewer for sympathy.

This image in full resolution
More of Mary's birth and youth

Photographed at the church by Claire Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.