Venetian School, Portable Altar with the Madonna and Saints
End of the 14th century
Accademia Gallery, Venice
In the upper center is a "Man of Sorrows" image exhibiting Christ's bloody wounds. In the main image below, the blood is repeated on the child's chest, which also echoes the musculature of the "Man of Sorrows'" chest. These echoes contrast evocatively with the placid sleep of the child and the mother's tender embrace.
Anticipating the full nakedness that will characterize 15th-century images of the child, the artist covers his genitals with his hands and a nearly transparent cloth.
On the left St. James the Greater holds his pilgrim's staff and a small scroll, the latter perhaps referring to his epistle. On the right is St. Francis of Assisi: tonsure, Franciscan habit with thrice-knotted cord, stigmata showing on his right hand and through the rip in his habit. Both are labeled with their names in Latin.
View this image in full resolution.
Read more about images of the Madonna and Child.
Read more about images of St. James, St. Francis of Assisi, and the Man of Sorrows.
Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.