A detail of a painting of Christ and the Virgin by the Master of Flémalle, the first great master of Flemish and Early Netherlandish painting.
Mary is depicted in prayer, a sign of the interceding power she has with her Son.
Mary as the Mater Dolorosa, by Paolo de San Leocadio.
The Madonna delle Pere, a 15th century work attributed to the painter Paolo di Ciacio from Mileto in Italy.
Master of the Collins Hours - Le Sacerdoce de la Vierge (The Priesthood of the Virgin); 1438; Musee Louvre.
Note how the Virgin is dressed in the vestments of the Jewish high priest— she is clearly wearing the ephod in this picture. The painting is meant to convey how the Virgin leads the faithful to Christ— how she makes Him present in this world, which is doubly meaningful on account of her divine maternity. It is Christ alone who leads us to heaven, but such has been the great favor bestowed on her by heaven that her intercession has come to be seen as nothing short of having a quasi-sacerdotal significance.
The Apotheosis of the Virgin Mary with Prophets and Sybille, painted by Ambrosius Benson (1530-1532).
Infinitas Gracias: Mexican miracle paintings
From 06.10.2011 until 26.02.2012 at the Wellcome Collection in London, UK
Mexican votives are small paintings, usually executed on tin roof tiles or small plaques, depicting the moment of personal humility when an individual asks a saint for help and is delivered from disaster and sometimes death.
'Infinitas Gracias' will feature over 100 votive paintings drawn from five collections held by museums in and around Mexico City and two sanctuaries located in mining communities in the Bajío region to the north: the city of Guanajuato and the distant mountain town of Real de Catorce.
Together with images, news reports, photographs, devotional artefacts, film and interviews, the exhibition will illustrate the depth of the votive tradition in Mexico.
S. Maria Lauretana
18th century copper engraving of Our Lady of Loreto with Latin acclamations:
- Hail Virgin Daughter of God the Father
- (Hail) Virgin Mother of God the Son
- (Hail) Virgin Bride of the Holy Spirit
- (Hail) Virgin Temple of the Holy Trinity
A set of old postcards from the shrine of Foy-Notre-Dame in Belgium.
The charming baroque church of Our Lady of Foy was built in the early 17th century and is one of my favourite pilgrimage sites. It is located in the remote Belgian countryside, a few kilometres outside the city of Dinant.
I have some fond memories of my pilgrimage to the shrine, which I made on a rainy day in the autumn of 2001. After a 2.5 hour walk from Dinant I arrived in Foy-Notre-Dame around noon. It turned out the church was closed, but next to the door there was a small plaque with the address of the warden. I made my way to his house and rang the doorbell several times before the man appeared. He looked like he had just woken up! However, after I explained in broken French that I had come to see ‘Notre Dame’ he was kind enough to accompany me to the church to open the massive doors. I couldn’t help to notice the ancient looking set of keys he was carrying.
Once the warden let me inside he went back to his house and let me wander around the church by myself. He clearly believed I had come there with the best intentions. I admired the baroque interior, famous not only for its charming miraculous image of Mary but also for the painted wood panels on its ceiling. I lit a few candles and just enjoyed the silence in the cold and dark church.
That was a very special day indeed. I hope to return to Foy-Notre-Dame one day for another pilgrimage.