Picturing Mary

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Madonna-and-Child-with-Angel-Madonna-Knitting

Eric Gill, The Madonna and Child with an Angel: Madonna Knitting, Wood engraving, 1916-19

I visited the National Museum of Women in the Arts yesterday to see their “Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea.” It really is an impressive exhibit. Pieces featured include liturgical art — there’s a chasuble with the Mary and Elizabeth scene on it, African art, lots of Renaissance painting, and icons. As an aid to your reflection on Christmas, the exhibit is timely.

Perhaps understandably, the exhibit didn’t include any Eric Gill. But I love this Madonna and Child. Gill’s wood engravings always communicate simple but profound truths, often in the context of basic, every day activities. Here, a child sits on his mother’s lap while she knits. But the powerful grace of the domestic scene is witnessed to by an angel.

If you’re in the DC area, I encourage you to check out the NMWA’s exhibit.

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