versión en español
Virgen de la Leche.Antón Peris.Museo BBAA.Valencia.

Breastfeeding in art

Virgen de la Leche.Antón Peris.Museo BBAA.Valencia.

Religious art. Virgin and Child
Italian art. Quattrocento.

Virgin of Humility.Cenni di Francesco.Thyssen Museum.Pedralbes.
The Virgin and Child Enthroned (Bardi Altarpiece). 1484
Gemaldegalerie, Berlin

Botticelli painted one of his most impressive altar paintings, the Virgin and Child Enthroned between St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist, known as the Bardi altarpiece, for Giovanni de' Bardi.
Portrayed as the so-called Madonna lactans, the Virgin is baring her breast in order to feed her child. The client, Giovanni de' Bardi, chose the two saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, his patron saints, as intercessors. The Baptist, being the patron saint of Florence, was accorded the place of honour to the right of the Mother of God, and he is pointing the observer towards the Madonna and child. At his feet lies the instrument of his work, the baptismal bowl. The Evangelist to the left of Mary is an old man; he is holding a quill and book, and the eagle behind him is his evangelist's symbol.
The composition of this Sacra Conversazione clearly shows his originality. Botticelli produced a different solution to the classical three-part structure of such paintings, showing the enthroned Madonna and Child flanked by saints, from that of his artistic colleagues. He did not simply use architectural elements to structure the picture surface, but mainly used naturalistically painted niches of foliage to form a deferential backdrop for the holy figures.

From :
Virgin and Child.Defendete Ferrari.Palazzo Pitti.Firenze
Virgin and Child.Giovanni Boltraffio.1493-99.National Gallery.London.
Virgin an Child.Lorenzo Monaco.1415.Louvre Museum.Paris.
Virgin and Child.Lo Zoppo.1455.Metropolitan Museum of New York.
Virgin and Child.Nino Pisano.1365.S. Maria della Spina, Pisa
Virgin and Child.Lorenzo Monaco.1420.Thorvaldsens Museum.Copenhaghen.
Virgin and Child.Botticelli Workshop.1490.National Gallery.London.
Virgin and Child.Masolino di Panicale.1430.Galeria Uffizi.Firenze.
Virgin and Child.Defendete Ferrari.Sacra de San Michele.
Virgin and Child.Giovanni di Paolo.1445.Metropolitan Museum of New York.
Virgin and Child.Antoniazzo Romano.Metropolitan Museum of New York.
Virgin and Child.Masolino di Panicale.1430.Metropolitan Museum of New York.
Virgin and Child and St. Peter and St. PAul.Siena´s author.Metropolitan Museum of New York.