“The Double Intecession” from 1400 has the Virgin Mary as a pretty hot ambassador to Christ, as she suggests her, well, nourishment of power.
For all those not-yet-fluent in Italian, Christ says, “My Father, let those be saved for whom you wished me to suffer the Passion.” Mary, speaking on behalf of patrons and humanity, prays, “Dearest son, because of the milk that I gave you, have mercy on them.”
There’s so much at work here: The physicality as access. The fascination with fluidity and—let’s be frank, fluids, with the whole water-to-wine-to-blood transubstantiation. The whole female instability isn’t new?! Go, girl.
In her suffering, she makes herself fundamental to salvation. In other words, she really sticks it the static Medieval Man.