Artwork Detail

Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God showing a quotation from Catholic Review

Part of Rauschenberg Research Project

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenbergs <em>Mother of God</em> showing a quotation from <em>Catholic Review</em>

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God showing a quotation from Catholic Review

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God (verso) showing framing supports

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (verso)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God showing contours of circular form

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God showing variations in map types

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (detail)

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenberg's Mother of God showing layering of maps and paint

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, ca. 1950 (detail)

  • Mother of God

    Robert Rauschenberg, Mother of God, Tue Jan 01 00:00:00 PST 2013; oil, enamel, printed maps, newspaper, and metallic paint on Masonite, 48 in. x 32 1/8 in. (121.92 cm x 81.6 cm); Fractional purchase through a gift of Phyllis Wattis and promised gift of an anonymous donor; © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; photo: Ben Blackwell


This detail of the lower right corner of Mother of God shows an advertisement featuring a quote from Catholic Review: “An invaluable spiritual road map . . . As simple and fundamental as life itself.” This fragment has often been interpreted as a clue to the meaning  of the painting’s title. It appears over a painted metallic line that used to be a bright silver and gold but has since oxidized, losing its luster.