The forest path on which the Madonna walks abounds with red mushrooms.
She identifies so closely with this autumn scene that her robe takes on
the color and characteristics of the mushrooms.

(Jerzy Harasymowicz, Madonna z Krasnejjedli)

The mushroom is a staple in Polish cooking, and the people gather a variety of succulent wild mushrooms in the forests. The beautiful red mushrooms in the painting, however, represent a poisonous variety. The Madonna’s dress represents a mushroom stem and her cape represents the top and gills of the red mushroom. By taking the danger upon herself, she is able to warn the people against making a harmful choice. Although she is uncrowned, the ermines at her feet are indicative of her royal status. 

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