Madonna and the Child (Madonna of Gaj)

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Gaj
Catalogue note author
Paulina Kluz


The first painting of Madonna of Gaj dates back to the 13th century. Around the year 1500, a new image of the Virgin Mary was painted in its place. Around the year 1635, it was transferred by the parish priest Matthew Solecki to a newly built brick church (1626) and placed in the high altar. In 1845, it was commissioned to paint its reproduction, which was placed in the high altar; behind it, the old painting was hidden. After conservation in 1954, the work was restored to worship. The image of Madonna and the Child belongs to the Hodegetria (She who points the Way) iconographic type. The painting with Madonna of Gaj is based on a scheme of Cracovian Hodegetria icons from the 15th century, hence, just like them, it is modelled on the type of the so-called Our Lady of Piekary. Although it is distinguished from them by the fact that Madonna holds a rose in her hand and the Child holds an orb instead of a book; therefore, the image in fact departs from their strict representation pattern.

How to cite?

Paulina Kluz, "Madonna and the Child (Madonna of Gaj)", [in:] "The Sacred Lesser Poland Heritage", 2023, source:

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