The first two volumes of the fundamental research by N. P. Kondakov gives a general review of the iconography of the Mother of God in Christian art from the early period till the Late Middle Ages ; the book was publ. in Russian in St. Petersbrug/Petrograd in 1914-1915. The manuscript of the third volume K. took with his, going to the emigration, but almost all illustrative material was left in Petrograd. Only in 1924, he succeded to find out a support for the publicaiton of that final volume ; it was Pope Pius XI, who acquired the right for the publication of that third volume ‘Italian Madonna’ in December 1924. The work was prepared in French, but the author died in 1925, and the Russian original manuscript was lost. The French translation was found by Ivan Foletti in the Pontifical Oriental Institute; it was published in Italy in 2011.
The first volume is on the Early Christian period till the seventh – ninth centuries; there are chapters on the iconography of the catacomb painting, depictions on sarcophagi, on the connectione between the iconography of the Mother of God and images of ‘virgins’ and ‘deaconess’, and so on. The second volume starts with Byzantine iconography of the ninth century; it is e review of all Byzantine iconography of the Mother of God, and its influence at he Italian-Greek school.