Sunday, August 17, 2014

Something for Sunday

For the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, we watched a short little documentary about the life of Mary (anybody else watch Footprints of God? No? Just us? Okay.), and they showed a lot of religious art and there was one painting that really caught my eye.
The Virgin of the Grapes by Pierre Mignard (1640-50)
This lovely painting struck me as different because of the very relaxed atmosphere. Now, a lot of Madonna and Child Jesus paintings are of the more solemn nature. Very majestic, and something more than just a 'snapshot'. Icons are a style of panting where many layers are shown. Like this icon of the Resurrection, for example.

There's a lot going on here, it's quite beautiful and detailed.
For starters, in the middle is Jesus, newly risen from the dead on Easter Morning. Then surrounding him are Prophets, and you can also see St. John the Baptist to the right of Jesus. The two people that Jesus is raising out of the tombs are Adam and Eve, and that symbolizes that the gates of Heaven have opened and the souls of the faithful departed can now enter. And now on the bottom, under Jesus' feet lies an old man in shackles. It's been a while since the icon was explained to me, but I recall that that man is death, and it represents that by dying on the Cross, Jesus has trampled death and granted eternal life to those in the tomb, and us.

Now, the painting above, the Virgin of the Grapes is a much simpler kind of painting. Mary and the Child Jesus are sitting down and seem to be enjoying some Grapes. The Child Jesus is playfully peeking out from under His Mother's veil, and Mary looks on tenderly. It's a style of Religious Art that you don't see too often, and there's certainly room for both this and the more solemn variety.

Stay Frosty, my friends, and have a lovely Sunday. :)


  1. What a lovely painting! I love the religious art that is more of a relaxed form. It seems to make the Holy Family "normal." :) The "Jesus Laughing" painting is another example of that. Jesus always seems to be portrayed with a non-smiling face, so it's nice to see him painted laughing.

    1. It is, isn't it? :)
      I think I've seen the Jesus Laughing painting, do you know who painted it? I'd like to find it again. Of course, I could probably find it easily just typing the name of the painting.


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