In her Magnificat, Mary proclaims that her name and memory will continue to be blessed for all generations (Luke 1: 46 - 55). The history of Marian art testifies to the enduring truth of this prophecy. The Virgin Mary has been one of the major subjects of Western art for centuries. Literally hundreds of thousands of pieces of Marian art have been produced.
The focus of this study is to explore the evolution of some of the historically important advances in Italian painting of the 13th – 16th centuries. Because the Virgin Mary is such a consistent subject in Italian art, it is easy to trace these technical innovations using depictions of Mary in the art of the period.