I have seen this art piece floating around for several years now. I post it to share with any who might have seen it also and wanted to know more about it or for those who have never seen it and would like to be encouraged by fine Christian art this holiday season.
The piece is a crayon and pencil drawing by Sr. Grace Remington, OCSO from the Cistercian Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey. There are many beautiful themes expressed in this painting. Here is an analysis of them that might be of interest.
Here are some of my reflections on the work.
- The bright yellow/orange colors strike me as important. They create a warmth and serenity to the picture like a candle flame. The colors may represent shame though. It also picks up hues from the underbelly of the serpent who has now been crushed by Mary and the blush color in Eve’s cheeks. The hues also surely contrast with Mary’s white and blue clothing which surely represent a serenity all their own. Maybe we don’t have to choose. Maybe our shame has been transformed into serenity and what was once a blush of shame is now a blush of embarrassment at the generosity of the gift that is now ours in the Christ.
- The gentleness and compassion of Mary is welcoming. That she treats Eve with such love and welcome makes me think that she will also be a good mother to the coming Christ child that is growing within her womb. She will surely extend that same character of compassion and love to the baby Jesus. And Jesus will then give that same character of compassion and love to all of humanity.
- I wonder if I am reading too much into on this one, but I did notice that the fruit that is growing in the arch around Mary and Eve is different from the fruit that Eve holds in her hand which is clearly the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The fruit in the arch surrounding the two are ripe and abundantly spread throughout. I wonder also if those fruit in the arch are representative of the fruit that is in Mary’s womb (i.e. Jesus). Maybe by Mary’s bearing of Jesus the promise of God (“be fruitful and multiply”) is fulfilled in a new and special way that it was not pre-fall.
I’m sure there is more that I can and will think of as I continue to ponder this piece. Please share your own reflections on the work below!