Toledo Museum Home

Storytelling in Miniature

Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471–1528

The Virgin on the Crescent with a Diadem

Engraving, 1514
4 9/16 x 2 3/4 in.
Grace J. Hitchcock Collection, 1981.201

Albrecht Dürer stresses the relationship between mother and child in this silvery print produced by a lightly and evenly engraved copper plate. The Virgin Mary is portrayed as a substantial woman holding a sturdy child. The crescent moon on which she stands, along with the rays of light that seem to emanate from her body, may refer to the description of the Virgin in the Book of Revelation as “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet.”