A Black Madonna or Black Virgin is a statue or painting of Mary in which she is depicted with dark skin, especially those created in Europe in the medieval period or earlier. In this specialized sense "Black Madonna" does not refer to images of the Virgin Mary portrayed as specifically ethnically black, which are popular in Africa and areas with large black populations, such as Brazil and the United States, but rather refers to all portrayals of the Virgin Mary with dark skin that were created during this time period; however, some scholars in the afrocentric and theosophical community believe that the Black Madonnas are black because they were a copy of the Egyptian Isis and Horus image that was both black and African.
The Black Madonnas are generally found in Catholic areas. The statues are mostly wooden but occasionally stone, often painted and up to 75 cm tall, generally dating from between the 11th and 15th centuries. They fall into two main groups: free-standing upright figures and seated figures on a throne. The pictures are usually icons which are Byzantine in style, often made in 13th or 14th century Italy. There are about 450–500 Black Madonnas in Europe, depending on how they are classified. There are at least 180 Vierges Noires in France, and there are hundreds of non-medieval copies as well. Some are in museums, but most are in churches or shrines and are venerated by devotees. A few are associated with miracles and attract substantial numbers of pilgrims.
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... The Black Madonna is credited with miraculously saving the monastery of Jasna Góra (English Bright Mount) from a 17th century Swedish invasion, The Deluge ... nobility), fought off the numerically superior Germans mercenaries, saved their sacred icon, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa and, according to some accounts, turned the course of the war ... led King John II Casimir Vasa to "crown" Our Lady of Częstochowa ("the Black Madonna") as Queen and Protector of Poland in the cathedral of Lwów on April 1, 1656 ...
... She is most commonly represented by the image of Black Madonna of Częstochowa whose origins are believed to be in copies of the icon of the Black ... Other depictions of Ezili Dantor include the Black Madonna, as well as Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Mount Carmel ... Ezili Dantor is associated with the black creole pig of Haiti, her favorite animal sacrifice, and the colors gold and blue, sometimes green and also red ...
Famous quotes containing the words madonna and/or black:
“In our minds lives the madonna imagethe all-embracing, all- giving tranquil mother of a Raphael painting, one child at her breast, another at her feet; a woman fulfilled, one who asks nothing more than to nurture and nourish. This creature of fantasy, this myth, is the modelthe unattainable ideal against which women measure, not only their performance, but their feelings about being mothers.”
—Lillian Breslow Rubin (20th century)
“It is dangerous to leave written that which is badly written. A chance word, upon paper, may destroy the world. Watch carefully and erase, while the power is still yours, I say to myself, for all that is put down, once it escapes, may rot its way into a thousand minds, the corn become a black smut, and all libraries, of necessity, be burned to the ground as a consequence. Only one answer: write carelessly so that nothing that is not green will survive.”
—William Carlos Williams (18831963)