Visit Monterchi to see the exquisite Madonna del Parto


In the small town of Monterchi nestled between the borders of Tuscany and Umbria rests a wonderful Renaissance-era painting by Piero della Francesca entitled "Madonna del Parto" (Madonna in labor).  Like so many other of Piero della Francesca's masterpieces, the location of this exquisite piece is no surprise as many of his works can be found in Italy's smaller towns such as Sansepolcro, Monterchi and Urbino. It is also important to point out that Piero della Francesco's mother, Romana di Perino , was born in Monterchi but Piero, himself, was raised mostly in the nearby town of Sansepolcro where another one of his masterpieces, Madonna della Misericordia, rests.

Piero della Franceco's Madonna della Misericordia in Sansepolcro

Once perceived as a controversial piece during the counter-reformation period it is now accepted as an exquisite masterpiece that shines in its brilliance and sheer simplicity. The painting depicts the Madonna in labor with one hand resting on her belly while her other hand rests on her hip providing support. Two winged angels (one on each side) draw open the curtains presenting her to the world. One can easily see the signs of emotional and physical stress typical of a woman in the initial stages of labor. This is a very real depiction of the Madonna and one that is easy for many to relate to.

Local belief is that the painting has some connection to fertility. This belief is still strong today as town residents and local officials refuse to loan out the painting to many of the world-famous museums such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York City for fear that there might be an adverse impact on pregnancy rates in the town.

The Madonna del Parto is worth visiting in our opinion. It is truly a masterpiece and one of Piero della Franceco's best paintings. The town of Monterchi along with many of the surrounding towns are worth visiting too as they have real charm and offer a the visitor a wonderful tour of some of the most beautiful scenery in Tuscumbria.

M U S E U M   I N F O

Museo della Madonna del Parto

The Madonna del Parto is open to the public 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-17.00 afternoons, in the summer the museum remains open until 19.00. Entrance is around €3.50
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