Jacobello del Fiore, Our Lady of Mercy with St. John the Baptist and St. 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. In this case, most of the supplicants are women. Unusually however, the artist has hung from the Virgin's neck a mandorla pendant with the Christ Child blessing the viewer.

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 mantle.

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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Read more about the Lamb of God symbol and about images of Our Lady of Mercy, St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist.

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