Madonna della Misericordia

Madonna della Misericordia, Fondamenta de l'Abazia, Venice
The Madonna della Misericordia (Madonna of Mercy) is the name given to an image of the Virgin Mary in which she shelters a group of diminutive figures (who kneel in thanks for her protection) under her open cloak.
Madonna della Misericordia, Scuola di Calegheri, Venice
The theme was particularly popular between the 13th and 16th century and there are many examples, large and small, to be seen throughout Venice. It was often commissioned by the city's many scuole (confraternites) and it is the confratelli who kneel at her feet.
Madonna della Misericordia, Scuola dei Mercanti, Venice
My favourite example, and one the most difficult to photograph, belongs to the scuola which was actually dedicated to the Madonna della Misericordia. She is be found above a doorway on the narrow Fondamenta de l'Abazia.  
Madonna della Misericordia, Palazzo Barbarigo, Venice
In Venice the Madonna della Misericordia often takes the form of the Virgin bearing, on her chest, the Christ child enclosed in a mandorla.   

There are also examples of the Madonna della Misericordia bearing the sign of the Scuola Grande della Carita, which rather resembles a rifle target.