The Virgin and Child on the Clouds, after Raphael
18.6 cm x 14.9 cm (7 5/16 in. x 5 7/8 in.)
(Argini, Italy, circa 1470 or 1482 - circa 1527-1534, Bologna, Italy)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Catholics believe that when the Virgin Mary’s body was assumed into Heaven, she was venerated there as queen because of her participation in the redemption of mankind – by allowing her body to be a vessel for God. The title Queen of Heaven appeared in devotional prayers and translated into art in the form of regal images of the Virgin. The coronation of the Virgin, in which a crown is placed on Mary’s head, is usually set in a royal court or among the clouds with throngs of saints and angels looking on in admiration. The audience for these particular images was probably a wealthier one, more likely to venerate a regal Virgin than a peasant mother of God.