Growing up we had a large print of a Madonna with Child hanging in our living room which has left a lasting impression.
The picture on our wall looked like the left half of the picture at the top of this page, “Four Shepherds”, and I think what impressed me was its simplicity when compared to the usual statues and pictures of the mother of Christ in Roman Catholic Austria. Neither mother nor Child have a halo, for example.1 To me, the color scheme communicates serenity, calm, and security.
I chose to post the picture “Four Shepherds” here, instead of just the Madonna with Child, because it fits very well with the Christmas season.
The artist, Albin Egger-Lienz, was born in 1868 and died in 1926, and worked mostly in Munich, Vienna, and the Tyrol. His reputation and reception post-World War II suffered from the fact that several high-ranking Nazis had praised his work — but so had Leo Trotsky.
- The artist painted several versions of this Madonna and Child motif, some in different colors, and some with halos. ↩