Cult of the Virgin in the Gothic Era:
Was there another side to the Virgin’s image?
In the Gothic era, when it was popular for artist to create images and symbols of the Virgin Mary, began the Cult of the Virgin. Many artists focused on the Virgin Mary with Christ as the main topic in their art work. Did all the creations made of the Virgin portray her as good? Could some of the artists want to give a negative interpretation of the Virgin that could have only been seen through the artist’s eye and the eye of the beholder? I ask this question for the mere fact that anything regarding religion usually is controversial and I wonder if the symbol of the Virgin could have had another side to the story. There are many virgins from our history that people have made into icons. There is the virgin goddess, Athena, the Virgin Eleousa, Theotokos and the Virgin of Guadalupe, just to name a few. However, the virgin I’ve chosen to focus on will be the ever so popular and worldly known female icon of all times, the Virgin Mary also known as the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary’s date of birth and date of death are unknown. The details of her story told are based on her giving birth to our Savior, Jesus Christ through Immaculate Conception. It is believed that she conceived Jesus by God without any physical human contact. Meaning when she gave birth, she was officially still a virgin. For this amazing act that could only be carried out by God had placed her on a high and respected status of the virgin who gave birth to our Savior, Jesus Christ. Many people from all religious beliefs through out the world can relate and know the Virgin Mary. This version told has made her a famous and cherished female icon in regions through out the world. The Virgin Mary will always be remembered in the past, present and into the future as the mother of Jesus Christ. The proof of her popularity is shown in all the creations devoted with her image and child or just of her image alone produced through out history. I have analyzed just a few pieces of artwork made dedicated to the Virgin Mary and have found that the majority of the pieces that I’ve examined produced from the Gothic era, portrays her to be a loving woman. Her image is a lasting icon that will be adored and appreciated for a long time to come. But first, allow me to give you my brief assessment of the Gothic era. The Gothic era began in France in the mid 12th century up until the middle of the 16th century. This was a period when a movement of medieval art changed from the Romanesque style to a new bizarre art style called Gothic, and the Gothic era begins. This peculiar style of art radiates a dark and mysterious feel. Observed through the architecture of buildings erected in the Gothic era are the undeniable traits of the pointed arches and ribbed vaults on the exterior roof tops of churches and other structures. In addition, statues of flying buttresses, ornamental gables, crochets and foils, are also seen on the roof tops of a Gothic style structure. Other features are noticed in Gothic statues with their elongated forms with a hard and erect look in every aspect from the statue’s stance to the look in their eyes. Gothic art usually features and intensifies emanating a strange and eerie feeling. Gothic style paintings usually emit a vibe of something weird, freakish or grotesque. You can see this in the paintings, statues and architecture of this era which is also the beginning of another era called the Cult of the Virgin. The Cult of the Virgin is not a satanic cult that preys on people who are virgins. It was an era when artist from all around the world were creating images of the Virgin and child. The Virgin Mary and baby Jesus Christ. Paintings, statues and figurines were being produced by creative artists in all regions which gave us this opportunity to find the beautiful and amazing artifacts which holds the answers to the questions regarding our history....
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