Madonna and her children. Picture: Instagram

They are hardly a typical family. But in the first image she has shared of all six of her children, Madonna’s brood look to be close knit and happy.

The singer posted the rare group shot on Instagram as she celebrated her 59th birthday with a gipsy-themed fancy dress party in Italy. Madonna is seen beaming in a floppy hat and elaborate corseted, two-tiered silk dress.

Birthday 🎉🎂🎈🇮🇹♥️

A post shared by Madonna (@madonna) on

In the front row, in floral dresses, are Stella and Esther, the four-year-old sisters she adopted from Malawi six months ago. Alongside them is her eldest daughter Lourdes, 20, from her relationship with dancer Carlos Leon.

Laughing and pointing in the back row is eldest son Rocco, 17, by ex-husband Guy Ritchie, and beside him is David Banda, whom she adopted from Malawi when he was 11. Judging by Rocco’s grin, it would appear his estrangement from his mother is now over. Almost a year ago he was refusing to return to her care, preferring to be looked after by his film director father.

To Madonna’s left is her other adopted Malawian child, Mercy, 11, smiling broadly in a flowered headdress.