Jacobello del Fiore, Our Lady of Mercy with Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist

Late 14th/early 15th century
Accademia Gallery, Venice

As always, Our Lady of Mercy is shown sheltering a crowd of supplicants with her cape. Unusually however, Jacobello has hung from her neck a mandorla with the Christ Child blessing the viewer. This suggests at the same time the pregnancy of the historical Mary and the graces that flow from her child yet today.

In an ancient iconographical tradition, John the Baptist points to the lamb on his left hand. The lamb has a cruciform halo, indicating that it represents Jesus Christ, the "Lamb of God" who John said "takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). Also following ancient tradition, the artist gives John a tunic of camel's hair (as in Matthew 2:1-4) under a more elegant toga-like cloak.

On the right, St. John the Evangelist is identified by the label in the gallery. The figure lacks attributes. It is not clear why there is a circular rip at the breast in his blue tunic.

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More of Our Lady of Mercy
More of St. John the Baptist
More of St. John the Evangelist
More of the Lamb of God symbol

Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.