In many early paintings, Madonnas are also depicted reading after the birth of Jesus.
Sandro Botticelli (Italian artist, 1445-1510) Virgin and Child with young Saint John the Baptist c 1500
There are instances of people reading in the Bible, but none are Mary and none are women. Reading is referred to often in the Bible.
Carlo Crivelli (c 1430-1495) Madonna and Child, 1482
Romans 15:4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Vittore Crivelli (Italian, active c 1465–d 1502) Madonna & Child with 2 Angels
Revelation 1:19 "Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later."
Carlo Crivelli (1430-1495) Madonna and Child c 1480
Deuteronomy 27:8 "And you shall write very clearly all the words of this law on these stones you have set up."
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483–1520) Madonna with the Book
Isaiah 8:1 The LORD said to me, "Take a large scroll and write on it with an ordinary pen..."
Sandro Botticelli (Italian artist, 1445-1510) Virgin & Child
Jeremiah 30:2 "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you."
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483–1520) The Solly Madonna 1502
Jeremiah 36:2 "Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now."
Sandro Botticelli (Italian artist, 1445-1510) Virgin and Child with Young St. John The Baptist, 1470-1475
Matthew 24:15 "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand..."
Jan de Beer (Dutch artist, 1475–1528) Madonna and Child with Pilgrim & Angel
1 Timothy 3:14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions...
Ambrogio Bergognone (Italian artist, 1453-1523) Madonna and Child with St Catherine and Stefano Maconi
Deuteronomy 17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days…
Hans Burgkmair the Elder [German Northern Renaissance Painter, 1473-1531] Madonna with Grapes 1510
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life…
Marco di Antonio di Ruggero, known as Marco Zoppo (1433 -1478) Virgin and Child with Angels
Acts 13:27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.
Vittore Carpaccio (Italian painter, c 1465–1526) Madonna and Blessing Child 1505-10
Angnolo Bronzino, Agnolo di Cosimo, (Italian Mannerist artist, 1503-1572) Panciatichi Holy Family 1540
Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bolognese, 1560-1609) Madonna Entroned with Saints
Hans Memling (German-born Flemish painter, 1435-1494) Virgin And Child Enthroned With Two Musical Angels
Hans Memling (German-born Flemish painter, 1435-1494) The Donne Triptych 1478
Hans Memling (German-born Flemish painter, 1435-1494) The Virgin and Child with an Angel 1480
Hans Memling (German-born Flemish painter, 1435-1494) The Virgin and Child with St James and St Dominic, Virgin of Jacques Floreins
Luca Signorelli (Italian painter, 1445-1523) Holy Family 1490
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483–1520) Alba Madonna c 1510
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483–1520) Canigiani Madonna c 1507
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483–1520) Colonna Madonna 1508
Raphael Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483–1520) Madonna and Child with a Book 1503
The Madonna del cardellino or Madonna of the Goldfinch is a painting by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael, from c. 1505-1506.
1525 Joos van Cleve (Netherlandish, Cleve ca. 1485–1540 Antwerp) and a collaborator, Virgin and Child
William Dyce (Scottish artist, 1806–1864) The Virgin and Child