This article accompanies the fable
A Tale of Two Women
Rubens' The Virgin as the Woman of the Apocalypse
Rubens' The Virgin as the Woman of the Apocalypse (1623-24) at the Getty in Los Angeles. Notice the moon on which she stands and the blue shroud. She is accompanied by the warrior Archangel Saint Michael on the left and God at the top and of course she has already delivered the child.
The lines in Revelation Chapter 12 (King James version) are:
1. And there appeared a great wonder in Heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2. And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Compare her dominance in the image above with her more passive role in the earlier Gothic image below, The Last Judgment by Stefan Lochner from around 1435, part of an altar in Cologne.
For more on the Virgin Mary