Pseudo-Pier Francesco Fiorentino (active Florence, 2nd half of the 15C) Madonna and Child before a rose hedge
Here the Virgin's before background screens of roses, suggesting metaphorical associations with the paradise bower of the Song of Songs. The rose is a symbol that has a complex symbolism and an ancient history. In the Christian religion, like the cross, it can have paradoxical meanings. It is at once a symbol of purity and a symbol of passion, heavenly perfection and earthly passion; virginity and fertility; death and life. In Catholic symbolism, the red rose is a symbol of Martyrdom, while the white rose is a symbol of purity since the earliest years of the Church. Virgin Mary is called a "rose without thorns," because she was exempt from Original Sin. In Renaissance art, a garland of roses is often an allusion to the Rosary of the Virgin.