Saturday, July 30, 2005

Apologetics through Art: The Virgin of the Lilies

I love this painting by William Bouguereau entitled, The Virgin of the Lilies. I think it says a lot about the Catholic understanding of Mary. The center of our devotion to Mary consists of her relationship with Jesus. She is the mother of our Lord. In the painting Mary is holding Jesus but if you look close, it is like Mary is holding onto Jesus for support. It is as Jesus is a pillar suspended in midair and he supports Mary. Mary also has Jesus pressed against her heart with eyes closed in prayerful meditation. In contrast, the eyes of the child of Jesus are penetrating. They have wisdom and strength that are beyond a child. It is like they look through you to something deeper. Jesus’ right hand is making the sign of peace. In the background is a throne depicting Jesus as our king and consequently Mary as our Queen. The lilies at base of the throne symbolize Mary's purity, humility, and loving obedience to God's will.


Anonymous said...

Both of her hands have her middle and ring finger together.

Anonymous said...

Hands of Mary look somehow strange..?