Plural query
Thread poster: Jenny Forbes

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:01
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Oct 3, 2008

What to do when you want to refer to several paintings known individually as "Madonna and Chilld"?
Surely not: Bellini's "Madonnas and Children" or "Madonnas and Child", let alone "Madonna and Childs"?
I suppose the only solution is to say "Bellini's paintings of the Madonna and Child".
What to Prozies think?
Jenny


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:31
German to English
Could you add "series?" Oct 3, 2008

Jenny Forbes wrote:
I suppose the only solution is to say "Bellini's paintings of the Madonna and Child".


I basically agree with the above. Could you also say "Bellini's series of Madonna and Child paintings?"


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Our friend the hyphen Oct 3, 2008

In my opinion the solution would be something like "...his Madonna-and-Child paintings were...".

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Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:01
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
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apostrophe s Oct 3, 2008

Quoth the Chicago Manual of Style:

"The plural of a word or phrase in quotation marks may be formed by the addition of an apostrophe before the s, with the closing quotation marks following the s (though rewording is usually a better option).

How many more "To be continued's" can we expect?

So: "Madonna and Child's", or else recast the sentence.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:01
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English
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It's the paintings that are plural Oct 3, 2008

Can you not simply say:

Bellini's "Madonna and Child" paintings?


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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 18:01
German to English
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solutions Oct 3, 2008

I think Sheila has the better of it.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
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English to Afrikaans
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How about... Oct 3, 2008

Jenny Forbes wrote:
What to do when you want to refer to several paintings known individually as "Madonna and Chilld"?


Not a native speaker of English myself, but would you consider "Madonnas and child"? I realise that in most of these paintings the child (being God) is the main figure, but from a purely linguistic point of view the main item of all these paintings (based on the names of the paintings) is the mother, not the child.

For surely if someone says "mountains with castle" it is obvious that there is one castle for every mountain (and not just one castle for all the mountains).


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:01
Member (2007)
English
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It all depends on the picture Oct 3, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:

Not a native speaker of English myself, but would you consider "Madonnas and child"?

For surely if someone says "mountains with castle" it is obvious that there is one castle for every mountain (and not just one castle for all the mountains).


I believe there is only ever one Madonna per painting - you can only use the plural if the picture shows 2 or more. Most mountainous landscapes show more than one mountain, but there is usually just one castle as the main point of focus. A painting could quite legitimately be called "mountain with castles".

Equally, Madonna surrounded by a class of schoolchildren could be entitled "Madonna with children"


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Virginia De Klerk  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 01:01
Portuguese to English
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Bellini's "Madonna and Child" paintings Oct 3, 2008

Sheila is right.
Bellini's "Madonna and Child" paintings --- would be the best way to put it.


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:01
German to English
+ ...
Lady Madonna, children at your feet... Oct 4, 2008

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I believe there is only ever one Madonna per painting - you can only use the plural if the picture shows 2 or more.

Equally, Madonna surrounded by a class of schoolchildren could be entitled "Madonna with children"


Logic wins. Of course. With Sheila and Virginia. And AFAIK, the good lady did not have twins.

Funnily enough though, look at the title of this Chinese page: http://www.fineart-china.com/germany/htmlopus/painting-38429.html

I must say that is the first time I have ever seen this work by Leonardo, but maybe I have been looking in the wrong places. However, I can count up to two.

Madam - I humbly submit that were you to use such an excrutiatingly execrable expression as 'Madonna and Childs', I fear that poor Brian Sewell would suffer from a terminal fit of the vapours.

Chris


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Pop artist with the children? Oct 5, 2008

Textklick wrote:
Funnily enough though, look at the title of this Chinese page: http://www.fineart-china.com/germany/htmlopus/painting-38429.html


No, I am not talking about Michael Jackson. The Spanish page of the link you pasted says "La Madona con los Niños". In Spanish, a "Madonna" would be a "virgen María", so this should be called "La virgen María y el niño".

In Spain, "Madona" is just the pop artist really....


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:01
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, everyone Oct 5, 2008

Textklick wrote:

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I believe there is only ever one Madonna per painting - you can only use the plural if the picture shows 2 or more.

Equally, Madonna surrounded by a class of schoolchildren could be entitled "Madonna with children"


Logic wins. Of course. With Sheila and Virginia. And AFAIK, the good lady did not have twins.

Funnily enough though, look at the title of this Chinese page: http://www.fineart-china.com/germany/htmlopus/painting-38429.html

I must say that is the first time I have ever seen this work by Leonardo, but maybe I have been looking in the wrong places. However, I can count up to two.

Madam - I humbly submit that were you to use such an excrutiatingly execrable expression as 'Madonna and Childs', I fear that poor Brian Sewell would suffer from a terminal fit of the vapours.

Chris


Thank you everyone for your interest. I think Sheila has it right - "Bellini's Madonna and Child paintings" is the best way of dealing with it.
Chris, I looked at the Chinese web site (which says in German Madonna and Children") but can see only one Child. Perhaps Dan Brown should consider a new mega-hit novel based on the supposition that the Virgin Mary had twin boys - shades of the Man in the Iron Mask (Dumas) - but now I'm getting carried away. I didn't suggest that "Madonnas and Childs" was a possibility - I said surely not ... let alone. I do hope Mr Sewell has recovered from the vapours by now ...
Best wishes,
Jenny.


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