Artwork Detail

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

Part of Rauschenberg Research Project Home

  • Detail of Robert Rauschenbergs <em>Mother of God</em> showing layering of maps and paint

    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, Fri Jan 04 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


Rauschenberg painted the Masonite panel on which Mother of God is composed before adding the map fragments. In this detail we see a painted area along the left side, beneath the map of Philadelphia. Although this section of the work is mostly white, patches of black are also visible, suggesting that Rauschenberg began with black and later covered over some of the black areas with white paint.