Madonna Lactans

madonna

This form of iconography is a portrayal of Mary nursing the baby Jesus. Some of these depictions are more reserved, with her breast concealed behind clothing, or a hand, while others are more revealing and show her entire breast. This specific icon was more frequently made before the 12th and 13th centuries. The reformation actually marked a decline in the use of this subject as an icon in the Catholic Church. There was a wonder if this type of icon was appealing to their followers, and debated that the icon could be seen as provocative. Even though some are done in a beautiful manner, and make the act a form of art in itself, at the same time, some of them are just plain creepy and awkward. The fact that, in some instances, Jesus is shown as a toddler(well past breastfeeding time) and even a grown man is just unpleasant to the eye. I can understand why the Catholic Church wanted to avoid this icon. They didn’t want their followers second guessing their faith for any reason, especially during the reformation, its just bad publicity.

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