Madonna as nursing mother and divine being (1511) by Albrecht Durer

Madonna as nursing mother and divine being - Albrecht Durer - 1511

Artwork Information

TitleMadonna as nursing mother and divine being
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlbertina, Vienna, Austria

About Madonna as nursing mother and divine being

The artwork “Madonna as nursing mother and divine being” by Albrecht Dürer, completed in 1511, is a woodcut reflecting the Northern Renaissance art movement. This miniature genre piece is part of the collection at the Albertina in Vienna, Austria. It portrays the Virgin Mary as both a mother, depicted nursing the infant Jesus, and as a divine figure, with symbolic elements emphasizing her sanctity.

In the woodcut, the Madonna is seated, centrally placed within a circular mandorla that frames her figure and adds an aura of holiness. Her head is gently bowed towards the infant Christ, who is cradled in her arms as she offers him her breast. The tender exchange between mother and child contrasts against the surrounding inscriptions and intricate line work typical of Dürer’s craft. The combination of human intimacy and divine representation is characteristic of the period’s religious art, and Dürer’s notable skill in woodcut technique is on full display, showcasing his fine attention to detail, texture, and composition. The surrounding text and celestial motifs further add to the devotional quality of the piece.

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