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The motif Madonna is a part of: Saint

See also Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit


Madonna, Maria, The Mother of God (Jesus)

Description of this motif: Madonna, Jesus' mother according to the Bible, plays a great role in Catholicism, in which she is worshipped as a saint.

Example 1:

The boy was dazzled by the magnificence; the walls were radiant with color, and everything there had life and movement. The picture of Venus, the earthly Venus, impassioned and glowing life, as Titian saw her, shone in redoubled splendor. Near her were the portraits of two lovely women, reclining on soft cushions, with beautiful, unveiled limbs, heaving bosoms, and luxuriant locks falling over rounded shoulders, while their dark eyes betrayed passionate thoughts. But none of these pictures dared to step forth from their frames. The goddess of beauty herself, the Gladiators, and the Grinder remained on their pedestals, subdued by the halo around the Madonna, with the infants Jesus and St. John. The holy pictures were no longer just pictures; they were the saints themselves.

Comment on this quote: This quote ia a good example of Hans Christian Andersen's way of writing about sensuality. It is suppressed, it must be restrained, because it is a powerful force; passionate thoughts! Classical religion is oppposed to christianity as lecherous fleshfulness against strict spirituality, a tension, that is also present in among others the debut novel from the Italian, The Improvisatore (1835), and that must be recognized as a mark of the oeuvre. This way to imply and yet not write about the sexual is in thread with victorian art and literature.

Example 2:

"Thank you, and bless you, you beautiful animal!" said the little boy, patting the pig as it went bump, bump, bump down the stairs with him. "Thank you, and blessings to you, too!" said the metal pig. "I've helped you, but you've helped me, because I only have the strength to run when I'm carrying an innocent child on my back! You see, now I even dare step under the rays of the lamp before the Madonna picture. I can carry you anywhere except into a church, but as long as you're with me I can stand outside and look in through the open door. Don't get down off my back! If you do I shall be dead, just as you see me every day in the Porta Rossa!" "I'll stay with you, my blessed animal," said the little boy, and then they rushed at a dizzy pace through the streets of Florence to the church of Santa Croce in the Piazza. The great folding door swung open, and the altar lights streamed through the church and out into the deserted Piazza. A strange light blazed from a sculptured tomb in the left aisle; thousands of twinkling stars formed a sort a halo around it. The tomb was surmounted by a coat of arms, a red ladder on blue ground, gleaming like fire. This was the tomb of Galileo. It is a simple monument; but the red ladder on the blue ground is a symbol of Art, meaning that the pathway to fame is always upward on a flaming ladder. All genius soars to Heaven like the prophet Elijah. Every statue on the costly sarcophagus in the right aisle of the church seemed endowed with life. Here were Michelangelo and Dante, with the laurel wreath on his brow; Alfieri and Macchiavelli rested here side by side - the pride of Italy. It is a very beautiful church, far more beautiful than, although not as large as, the marble Cathedral of Florence. It seemed as if the marble raiment moved, as if those great figures once more raised their heads in the night, mid song and music, and gazed toward the altar glowing with many lights, where the white-robed altar boys swung the golden censers, while the fragrance of incense filled the church and streamed out into the open square.

Example 3:

"He's a beautiful child," she said, "and he'll be a clever glovemaker, just like you. Look at his fingers, so delicate and flexible! Madonna intended him to be a glovemaker!"

Comment on this quote: Father Giuseppe is a citizen of Florence, who has found the main character, a boy, sleeping in the church Santa Croce after having run away from his harsh mother. Giuseppe and his wife have a glovemaker's shop.

Example 4:

He remembered all the statues, the beautiful marble Venus, and the painted pictures too. Again he gazed at the Madonna, with St. John and the infant Jesus. They stopped before the Bronzino picture of Christ standing in the underworld with the children around Him, smiling in their sweet certainty of heaven. The poor boy smiled too, for he was in his own heaven.