Monday, March 01, 2010

Madonna of the Yarnwinder.

I was sort of half listening to the news on the radio today when the phrase "Madonna of the Yarn Winder" caught my ear. Eh? So I went and Googled for it and found it's a painting. Really!

The news article, btw, was about the prosecution of the gang that had stolen the above from Drumlanrig Castle a few years ago. Story here, for anyone interested.

But. Really. I knew there was a Knitting Madonna..

(Detail from 'Visit of the Angel', from the right wing of the Buxtehude Altar. 1400 - 1410. Meister Bertram von Minden (1340 - 1414))

.. fact there's more than one..

(The Holy Family ca. 1345 Ambrogio Lorenzetti of Sienna (1290 - 1348))

...but this was the first I'd heard of a possibly spinning Madonna. Because, bah to the "yarnwinder" bit, that's a niddy-noddy the Baby Jesus has in his little mitts.

So I went looking..

(Madonna with the Child 1570s. Oil on wood, 72 x 52 cm The Hermitage, St. Petersburg)

I don't know why I find the thought of a spinning Madonna faintly amusing, but I do. The expressions on the first and last Madonnas' faces are priceless, actually. As are their hands, poised for a fast removal of spinning equipment from possibly sticky hands and drool, lol.


Woollycraft Workshops said...

Yes I often look like that when my kids get their mitts on my stuff!! lol

Steph said...

This 'Madonna' is grappling with two small dogs who seem to be getting up far too close and personal to my tools of trade these days!

Fascinating representations here.

I've abdandoned spinning on the Ettrick Windwheel for the moment, because double treadling on my Majacraft Little Gem is so easy and soothing.

西雅圖 said...
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zippiknits said...

One of them does look like she is not well pleased her little son has got hold of the noddy.

Those are little crosses, and tell what is to come, you see. One of the two knitting Madonna's has some one in the background pushing a pink cross into the painting. They never got to just forget and have a little Peace it seems, with all the symbolism thrust one them all the time. Poor Mary.

knittingcapricorn said...

The upper knitting Madonna is just a detail, I think there are some angels visiting her and Jesus. It's from a German altar, currently in a museum in Hamburg. I like the lower picture better, Mary actually looks like she knows what she is doing there. I wonder whether the German painter didn't know what knitting was yet ...

My favorite Madonna is the Madonna with the sewing basket, a small picture that hangs somewhere in the National Gallery in London (if it still does). Jesus actually looks like a real child in that picture.

On the whole, I prefer pictures of ancient Greek and Roman myths, less knitting, but more interesting.

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