The iconographic origin of this motif - the first of four by the artist (see also lots 102 and 103) - lies in the Apocalyptic Woman described in the Revelations of Saint John (Revelation 12. 1-2). In Dürer's delightful little engraving however, Mary does not appear as the majestic Queen of Heaven. Instead, it is a rather humble and intimate mother and child group which, in its reduction and simplicity, is reminiscent of Schongauer's Madonnas and female saints. After his very 'modern' Virgin and Child with the Monkey (see lot 30), Dürer here quite consciously returned to the late gothic type of the Schöne Madonna.