have represented Mary in every moment and event of her life: historical, meta-historical and legendary. Yet they have never been mere Madonnari / Madonna painters repeating conventional images, promoting traditional piety. In their hands, the typical subjects of Marian iconography have dilated, becoming occasions of profound, often mystical reflection. The painters and sculptors of Florence have presented God s mother as the 'all holy', but also as a human being and above all as a woman. This small book seeks to suggest, through specific examples, the depth and originality of their approach. It neither discusses every master and masterpiece (an impossible task), nor illustrates every Marian theme. It narrates and, in so doing, relates significant episodes in a process of research that has evolved across a thousand years: a process which in Mary painted and carved has shown Florence and the world the beauty of Christian faith and life. The book illustrates, among others, works by Giotto, Bernardo Daddi, Masaccio, Donatello, Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Filippino Lippi, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Andrea del Sarto and Pontormo.