My husband found this article in Christian Century; God's Love, Mother's Milk: An Image of Salvation. It addresses why the image of the nursing Virgin disappeared in Western art. How most Christians today see "the primary symbol of God's love and care for humanity is a cross" which the author, Margaret Miles, brings up the interesting point that our focus is on the violence brought upon the Redeemer, yet for the "first five centuries of the Christian movement the crucifixion was not depicted visually..." However there is another image that presents God's love for humanity; paintings, drawings, and sculptures of the Virgin Mary, breast exposed, nursing the infant Christ. "In communities under siege from plague, wars and malnutrition, the Virgin's breast was a symbol of God's loving provision of life, the nourishment and care that sustain life, and the salvation that promises eternal life."
I did a Google search for "Madonna Nursing Christ Child" and found so many beautiful images I was almost brought to tears thinking of what this single act of nourishing our children has meant through out all of history to so many children and mothers and ultimately all of humanity. How it is such a beautiful act of comfort and love.
I loved this article and wanted to share it with you all.
Picture by: Guido Reni