The word "Madonna" is a shortened form of an Old Italian phrase that means "my mother." Over the centuries it most frequently refers to Mary the mother of Jesus, but it can also refer to art, buildings and places, and entertainment and entertainers. The Madonna has been the subject of many famous artists, such as Salvador Dali ("The Madonna of Port Lligat") and Leonardo da Vinci ("Madonna and Child").
The House of the Black Madonna is a famous cubist building in Prague, Czech Republic, and California's Madonna Inn is a favorite resort hotel for honeymooners. At the opposite end of the cultural spectrum, 21st century singer/entertainer Madonna is known for her exotic image and sexual themes.