What better gift than this? We purchased this beautiful painting of the Holy Mother from my friend Ann Burt, who lives and works in Raleigh, N.C. This is the largest piece she has created so far in her rustic barn series. She painted Mary on a piece of salvaged barn wood.
I was unpacking Mary today from the cardboard box and bubble wrap she showed up in when my friend Dan, himself an artist, happened to stop by. (You know I don't believe in coincidences.)
Ann modeled her Holy Mother after a wonderful 15th century German sculpture in the North Carolina Museum of Art called Madonna and Child Sheltering Supplicants Under Her Cloak.
This piece is a reminder to me that Christ's mother is the mother of us all. This particular image of Mary is called The Virgin of Mercy and was a common theme in medieval art.
Here is another version of the Madonna of Mercy from the same time period, known as Schutzmantelmadonna, or Sheltering-Cloak Madonna in German.
And still another, this one from 15th century Sienna. In Italian this is known as Madonna della Misericordia (Madonna of Mercy).
Our family-room artwork is a reminder we can ask the Holy Mother to pray for us, no matter what century we find ourselves in.