Remembering When Mary Was Black

Thoughts on the Black Madonna iconography of medieval Europe

Credit: Wellcome Gallery
Spanish painting of Our Virgin and Child of Guadalupe, 1745. • Source: Wellcome Collection

Smoke and Mirrors

Our Lady of Meymac, France, 12th century Black Virgin statue in wood. Notre Dame de Meymac, Meymac (Correze), France • Credit: GFreihalter

White Knight takes Black Queen

Stained glass representing St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Upper Rhine, ca. 1450. Cluny Museum — National Museum of the Middle Ages, Paris, France • Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Our Lady of the Catacombs

Madonna and Child and the Prophet Isaiah, 2nd-3rd Century, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome, Italy • Source: Wikimedia Commons
The Annunciation, 2nd-3rd Century Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome, Italy • Source: Web Gallery of Art
Adoration of the Magi, 2nd-3rd Century Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome, Italy • Source: Web Gallery of Art

Why is she black?

Our Lady of Loreto type Black Madonna from Wrocław (Breslau), Silesia (Poland; Czech Republic; Germany) • Source: Wikimedia Commons
Our Lady of Loreto type Black Madonna from Wrocław (Detail) • Source: Wikimedia Commons

Nigra Sum sed Formosa

The Black Madonna of Tindari, Santuario Madonna del Tindari, Messina (Sicily) Italy. Eighth-century wooden statue restored in the 1990s and placed upon a new base featuring the Latin inscription of the biblical verse NIGRA SUM SED FORMOSA. • Source: Wikimedia Commons

Notes:

Selected Bibliography:

Writes about Eastern and Western pop culture, history and art | Bylines @ Nextshark, G-Fan Magazine, The Beat & CBR (Comic Book Resources) | stpaco@gmail.com

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