The Madonna del Parto is one of Piero della Francesca’s most famous frescoes and one of the highest expressions of the Renaissance. The masterwork was originally located in the chapel of Santa Maria di Momentana in Monterchi. Today it can admired in all its glory in the Museo della Madonna del Parto also in Monterchi.
A work shrouded in mystery, both for the choice of location where it was frescoed, a place formerly for the worship of divine figures protecting fertility, and for its patrons who are still not known today: a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that may simply have been the initiative of the maestro himself.
The pregnant Virgin Mary is depicted standing up with a closed book leaning on her belly, probably the Old Testament, symbolic of the Word of God which she embodies. The Madonna gives no regal gesture and has no book in her hand; she carries the weight of her belly by placing a hand on a hip. Next to her are two angels who are holding up the pavilions’ drapes. In the embroidery we can see pomegranates to symbolize the passion of Christ.