14th - 16th Century Gallery - Painting & Decorative Arts Level 1, NGV International
It was not until 431 that the growing cult of the Virgin as Mother of God was officially sanctioned. In the following centuries Mary came to be venerated in her own right as the Queen of Heaven, the Bride of Christ and as a primary intercessor for the salvation of humankind. This hieratic image of Mary with the infant Christ derives from an early Byzantine/Romanesque prototype that enjoyed lasting popularity in Spain. Christ grasps a rose, dual symbol of the Virgin and his future wounds. Surviving traces of pigment in carved folds indicate that Mary’s costume followed the conventional schema of red, blue and gold.