The Madonna on the Crescent

The Madonna on the Crescent is another work of Dürer that appears on the mural. The original was part of the Dürer’s The Life of the Virgin series. The Madonna on the Crescent was the first of 19 woodcuts in that series1. The original depicts Mary holding baby Jesus on a crescent moon. Light and stars radiate off the pair. Above and below lies Latin text. The folds of her dress mix with the texture of the pillow she sits on. To convey her religious importance, a crown of stars hovers above Mary’s head as she looks down towards her child. 

James Sicner’s recreation pays homage to the original’s detail, and even includes the surrounding text. Sicner decided to place The Madonna on the Crescent directly above his recreation of Dürer’s Melencolia I and to the right Dürer’s The Mass of St. Gregory, creating a Dürer corner of the mural. Very little is changed from the original to the recreation, besides the obscuring of some Latin text by other art in the section. Unlike Melencolia I, the image is not flipped and retains its original orientation.

The Madonna on the Crescent by Albrecht Dürer

Pictured: Left Sicner / Right Dürer

  1. “The Life of the Virgin” German Prints. The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, 2020. (accessed July 6, 2020).