Portable Altarpiece with the Weeping Madonna

Object Details


Portable Altarpiece with the Weeping Madonna


Georges Trubert (French, active Provence, France 1469 - 1508)




Provence, France (Place created)


about 1480 - 1490


Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment


Leaf: 11.4 x 8.6 cm (4 1/2 x 3 3/8 in.)

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A bust-length Madonna, with head and eyes cast down and wearing a veil, forms a mournful devotional image. She is doubly framed, first by the rays of golden light emanating from her person and accompanied by a ring of stars and then by an elaborate gold and silver reliquary-like frame with Arabic inscriptions. At the top right, the royal emblem of the Nasrid dynasty of Grenada translates as "There is no victorious one except God." The other inscriptions are simply nonsensical arrangements of Arabic characters. Below the Madonna, the artist painted the first words of the prayer O Intemerata, creating the illusion that the words appear on a piece of parchment tacked to the wood of the frame.

For this miniature, Georges Trubert, court painter to King René I of Anjou, copied a celebrated Byzantine icon of a weeping Madonna that belonged to King René. Trubert probably copied the now-lost icon of the Madonna accurately but concocted the elaborate frame from his imagination.

Related Works
Fouquet's Century: Transformations in French Painting, 1415-1530 (April 26 to July 10, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 26 to July 10, 1994
Faces of Power and Piety: Portraits in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts (February 2 to April 18, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 2 to April 18, 1999
The Medieval Best Seller: Illuminated Books of Hours (October 29, 2002 to January 19, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 29, 2002 to January 19, 2003
Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261 - 1557) (March 15 to July 5, 2004)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), March 15 to July 5, 2004
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