During the Renaissance, Italian painters would traditionally depict the wives of their patrons as Madonnas. The artists would often overstate the beauty of their models, rendering them more beautiful than they actually were. The contemporary representation of the Mother of Christ, however, tended to remain unchanged. With the passing of time, Mary gradually lost some of her spiritual characteristics and became more humane, more accessible to human sentiments. The path, which led artists from portraying the sacred to the profane, is discussed by the author: a study of women through the changing image of the Virgin Mary, over the past 2,000 years, and which is still very evident today. This book explores an exciting new way of understanding representations of the most frequently painted Christian female.
Specialist and writer on mythology, Dr Kyra Belan is above all an artist, as witnessed by her major in representational art.
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