Madonna Enthroned

Left transept
Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta
Aquileia, Italy

This statue is not noted in the literature on the basilica that I have consulted, unless it is the one described as "the Madonna of Humility or of Milk, in painted Istrian stone" in Tavano's survey of the left transept (206). His description mentions the "tight arrangement of the folds" and estimates a late Romanesque date, possibly mid-12th century. But a Madonna of Humility typically sits on the ground, not a throne, with at most a cushion beneath her (example).

The work appears to rely on a tradition exemplified by the Florentine painting shown below. Both images resemble the Hodegetria type in that Mary engages the viewer's eye while pointing to the child, and in both the garments have the deep, swirly folds characteristic of much Eastern art. Both put Mary in the blue head-and-shoulders mantle traditional in Eastern and Romanesque images.

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Master of the Magdalene, Triptych with the Madonna, mid- to late 13th century. For credits and further details see the description page.

Images photographed by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.