Piero della Francesca (Early Renaissance painter, c 1415–1492) Madonna della Misericordia
I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were a large part of the core of early Western art. Portraits of The Virgin Mary began to be popular, after the 431 AD Council of Ephesus declared Mary to be the Mother of God. By the 5C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art was evolving & becoming grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private patrons.