… Today’s Fine Art Friday celebrates the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The faithful, under the guidance of an unerring Catholic instinct, have ever recognized the queenly dignity of the Mother of “The King of kings and Lord of lords”: the Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, Popes, down through the centuries, have given authoritative expression to this truth and the crowning testimony to this common belief is to be found clearly expressed in the wonders of art and in the profound teaching of the liturgy. In their turn theologians have shown the fitting nature of this title of Queen as applied to the Mother of God, since she was so closely associated with the redemptive work of her Son and is the Mediatrix of all graces. [read more]
In Velázquez’s painting above, God holds the orb of the world in his left hand.
The boys holding the book and inkwell are de’ Medici cousins, Giovanni and Giulio. Mary writes the text of the Magnificat while Christ holds a pomegranate — a symbol of Christ’s Resurrection, adopted from the myth of Properspina and her return to earth each spring. The fruit is also used in heraldry for royalty and the Church, with the seeds being the many followers of Christ.
And lastly, a particular favorite of mine. A tender representation of Mary being crowned with carnations by the infant Christ. Legend says that the carnation bloomed on the night of Jesus’ birth as a sign of Mary’s joy. I think She looks pretty joyful in this painting.