Madonna and Child was painted by one of the most influential artists of the late 13th and early 14th century, Duccio di Buoninsegna. This iconic image of the Madonna and Child, seen throughout the history of western art, holds significant value in terms of stylistic innovations of religious subject matter that would continue to evolve for centuries.
The Madonna and Child is understood to be an intimate, devotional image.
Some evocations of this understanding come from the burnt edges on the bottom of the original engaged frame caused by burning candles that likely would have sat just beneath Looking past the abrupt simplicity of the image, one can begin to understand the changes Duccio was applying to the depiction of religious figures in painting during the early 14th century. Duccio followed other innovative Italian artists of the time like Giotto, both of whom strove to move beyond the purely iconic Byzantine and Italo-Byzantine canon and attempted to create a more tangible connection between the viewer and the objects in the painting. For example, the parapet that sits at the bottom of the painting works as a visual enticement for the viewer to look past and into the moment that is captured between the Virgin and Christ Child. At the same time, the parapet also acts as a barrier between the vernacular world and the sacred.
The flight into Egypt is a story recounted in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:13–23) and in New Testament apocrypha. Soon after the visit by the Magi, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream telling him to flee to Egypt with Mary and the infant Jesus since King Herod would seek the child to kill him. The episode is frequently shown in art, as the final episode of the Nativity of Jesus in art, and was a common component in cycles of the Life of the Virgin as well as the Life of Christ. Within the narrative tradition, iconic representation of the "Rest on the Flight into Egypt" developed after the 14th century.
when the Magi came in search of Jesus, they went to Herod the Great in Jerusalem to ask where to find the newborn "King of the Jews". Herod became paranoid that the child would threaten his throne, and sought to kill him (2:1–8). Herod initiated the Massacre of the Innocents in hopes of killing the child (Matthew 2:16–Matthew 2:18). But an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and warned him to take Jesus and his mother into Egypt (Matthew 2:13).
Egypt was a logical place to find refuge, as it was outside the dominions of King Herod, but both Egypt and Judea were part of the Roman Empire, linked by a coastal road known as "the way of the sea",making travel between them easy and relatively safe