Portable Altarpiece with the Weeping Madonna
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Georges Trubert
French, Provence, about 1480 - 1490
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and gold paint on parchment
4 1/2 x 3 3/8 in.
MS. 48, FOL. 159

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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.