The Virgin with Hairband on a Crescent Moon

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Dürer made four engravings of the Virgin and Child standing on a crescent moon. These devotional images link the Madonna with the pregnant woman of the apocalypse from chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation. The verse says that "a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars . . . " appeared in heaven, delivering a son to conquer Satan—a prefiguration of Christ. In direct contrast with the crowned Virgin (1934.334), whose double aureole shines extravagantly around her figure, Dürer conceived the Madonna (1958.116) with simplicity and humility. In each he presents the dual roles of the Virgin as the Queen of Heaven and as the humble mother of Jesus.
The Virgin with Hairband on a Crescent Moon

The Virgin with Hairband on a Crescent Moon


Albrecht Dürer

(German, 1471–1528)
Germany, late 15th-early 16th century

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