What does this Black Madonna mean? It’s earlier portraits of Mary. Is it more precise as to her true appearance before anglo saxony? Or just local people’s drawings?
The first notable study of the origin and meaning of the Black Madonnas in English appears to have been presented by Leonard Moss at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on December 28, 1952. Moss broke the images into three categories: (1) dark brown or black Madonnas with physiognomy and skin pigmentation matching that of the indigenous population; (2) various art forms that have turned black as a result of certain physical factors such as deterioration of lead-based pigments, accumulated smoke from the use of votive candles, and accumulation of grime over the ages, and (3) residual category with no ready explanation.
Black Madonnas are images of Mary where her skin is shown as being black. There were a lot of them in medieval Europe - France, Italy and Spain especially.
PaulfromIowa had already said this, but in a number of cases, the images were not originally black - they only darkened due to a number of factors (grime and smoke from candles being a prime cause). However, there are a few images where Mary is depicted as being black on purpose, as a reference to the passage in Song of Songs (1:5): “I am black, but beautiful, O daughters of Jerusalem …”
If you think about where she was from, she would’ve had dark skin to begin with, but not black. She was a poor girl and most likely spent quite a bit of time outside, so I’d guess she also was very dark and tan, especially in the summer months.
Anachronistic fallacy. Or Anthroanachronistic fallacy, as I like to say. There is no way to truly know what populations looked like, exactly, in that area, 2,000 years ago. Aside from guessing via a genetic analysis of DNA preserved from that period.
For example, blue eyes are most common today in NW Europe. However, we know that one of the genetic mutations for blue eyes likely originated closer to NW of the Black Sea. Or one can take it even further–50,000 years ago, “white” people may not even have existed.
I think the OP was referring to Our Lady of Czestochowa, the feast day just pasted, May 3 I think.
Here’s some history:
The origin of this miraculous image in Czestochowa, Poland is unknown for absolute certainty, but according to tradition the painting was a portrait of Our Lady done by St. John sometime after the Crucifixion of Our Lord and remained in the Holy Land until discovered by St. Helena of the Cross in the fourth century. The painting was taken to Constaninople, where St. Helena’s son, the Emperor Constantine, erected a church for its enthronement. This image was revered by the people of the city.
I thought she spent her life at the temple. She was promised there and remained a virgin. I don’t know what she did.
Marian apparitions and depictions have little to nothing to do with how Mary may have looked like during her earthly life. It shouldn’t matter what her skin color was, but ethnically she was a Palestinian Jew, as was Jesus.