Queen Mary

Hi everyone! This week I wanted to talk about art revolving around the day of August 22nd. This day is the feast day of the Queen of Heaven, which is Mary. To honor this day I wanted to talk about some beautiful paintings that I found that revolve around Mary.

The first painting I want to talk about is the Coronation of the Virgin by Diego Velazquez created in 1635.

Diego Velazquez, The Coronation of the Virgin, 1635

Image from Museo del Prado

The Coronation of the Virgin shows Mary, Christ, and God on a cloud that’s entangled with putti (baby angels). The heads of Mary, Christ, and God create a triangle that shows the Holy Spirit as a dove; this dove is surrounded by bright light. Both Christ and God are crowning Mary as the Queen of Heaven.

When I first saw this painting I was shocked to see that it was done by Velazquez; he’s more known for his portrait paintings of Spanish kings and heirs. Also, this painting has a light approach to it; when looking at Velazquez’s works, they are usually concrete and vivid, but this one has a hazy quality to it. Personally, I really like the bright colors that are explored in this painting,

The second painting is Botticelli’s Madonna of the Magnificent created in 1482-5.

Botticelli, Madonna of the Magnificent, 1482-5

I have previously talked about this painting before in another post, but I wanted to include this because it represents Mary being crowned.

In this painting, Mary is surrounded by five angels; three of these angels are crowning her while she holds onto baby Jesus and writes in her book. Botticelli impressively creates this painting with the figures almost coming out of the frame into our world with a glimpse into their world through the background. Mary and Christ are particularly prominent in this painting because they are the largest; also, Botticelli cleverly uses gold to highlight the features of Mary’s hair and clothes to make her gorgeously stand out.

The next painting is the Virgin Mary that is part of Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece created in 1420s-32.

Jan van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, 1420s-32

Mary is dressed in a dark blue gown aligned with gems and a magnificent crown with gems and flowers; she is also reading a book.

This is an oil painting, and Van Eyck does a great job highlighting the features of Mary.

The last two paintings that I wanted to talk about is Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s Immaculate Conception (left), created in 1767-8, and Diego Velazquez’s Immaculate Conception (right), created in 1618.

I grouped these two together since they are similar. They are both representing the Immaculate Conception, which is Mary’s conception being without sin. I thought this would be good to include as a starting point of Mary’s life. This would be the beginning of Mary’s life, being pured of sins, and her becoming the Queen of Heaven is the final step in her life, when she is invited to Heaven to be with her family.

As a lover of art, I am always amazed at the beautiful artworks that people have made and can make; these paintings are some of the most beautiful paintings of Mary that I have seen.

Feature Image from thesalvationgarden.org


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