Holy Healing, Holy Art

Mary Magdalene by Antonio Veneziano graces the cover of this month’s Magnificat Magazine, and once again I find myself as engaged with the wonderful artwork this publication routinely presents, as I am with all the wonderful prayers and readings within. It’s a beautiful Icon, but the glossy Magnificat cover really brings it out in full force, rather like this snapshot, but even better.

Here’s what Pierre-Marie Dumont says about the work:

Here we see “the sinner of love” represented not as a penitent overwhelmed with remorse, but radiant in the charm of her liberated and redeemed beauty. In her left hand she holds the Gospel . . . source of the profound joy that illuminates her face . . . Her free-flowing hair attests that, as a daughter of Even, she has renounced none of her feminine splendor. Nevertheless it ripples down her shoulders in six tresses, the number which signifies imperfection and the limits of human nature. These locks, well-disciplined, as if guided by superior standards of fashion, are arranged upon a dress that borrows its color from the rosa mystica. One seeks in vain for the expression of a more fervent desire and a more vibrant love, now reoriented because healed from the fatal poison of concupiscence.

You can read the whole thing here

Magnificat does a, well, magnificent job selecting art, but also in explaining it to some who — like me — never had the time or leisure to take a few art appreciation classes. Each month, toward the back of the book, they reprint a wonderful piece of art and a couple of pages explaining the work’s history, the artist’s intent, the use of color and so on, and it is always a true gift of a read. This month, they feature The Holy Kinship, (c1470), artist unknown from the Westphalian School, which I had never seen before. The rich colors delighted me, the accompanying essay enlightened me. Yeah, a gift.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://breadhere.blogspot.com/ Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

    I love the art in Magnificat and this cover specifically. I must say that for the first time ever, I received my August copy and did not like the cover.

  • Teresa

    I look forward to this publication every month. I fell in love with the July cover and I think I’ll frame it.

  • http://dailygrace001.blogspot.com Daily Grace

    I, too, love the art in the Magnificat. Mary Magdalene is stunning here.

  • tf21

    Hi, Ms. Scalia!

    Can you please tell me the name of the painting that is on top (banner) of your blog? Thanks & God bless! :)

  • http://www.rosaryworkout.com Peggy

    I LOVE the Magnificat art commentaries! They make me want to go back to school and study art history. I take my Magnificat everywhere. It’s expensive, but worth every penny!

  • K Winterer

    But less than half price ($19.95 / year) if one subscribes to the digital version. I download mine every month onto my iPod Touch which I
    use at Daily Mass here in Beaufort, SC. Between the readings on
    this wonderful publication and the religious books I’ve downloaded
    to the same device, I’ve plenty to keep me busy before and after
    Mass, and during Adoration.

  • fiestamom

    I love this feature too. I use it in my homeschool, it’s my crib notes to talk about the art. I know nothing about fine art, and I always learn something.

    I really enjoyed their Holy Week art, especially the work by Andy Warhol, Crosses. And the story that accompanied it, who knew that Warhol helped put one of his cousins through seminary?

  • Gail F

    I just read that essay on Sunday — the painting is fantastic! I love the idea of the big holy family having a picnic, and everyone hanging around together. No wonder it was a popular subject for art. The way the artist balanced the symbolic elements with the things real children do is brilliant. And I love that the child on the left is the supposed ancestor of the area’s first bishop — one big happy family forever.

  • Rudy

    It is fascinating to see the family relationships between Jesus, John the Baptist and some of the Apostles as related in this colorful renaissance painting.