Posted tagged ‘Virgin Mary’

Mary: Through the Eyes of Others

November 29, 2008

My last post on representations of Jesus in other cultures got me to thinking that the mother of Christ has been portrayed in many wonderful ways. So, I poked around the web and found a few to share here.

Chinese Madonna of unknown origin

Chinese Madonna of unknown origin

 The lovely Chinese Madonna below is centuries old and was recently found on a scroll in the Field Museum (Chicago). A story in the Honolulu Advertiser describes its discovery. Because the birth and death dates of the artist are known, the painting can be dated to approximately 1500.

Chinese Madonna, ca. 1500

Chinese Madonna, ca. 1500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found the Ethiopian representation on a site that needs to be seen to be believed: traveladventures.org  There you can click on any continent you are interested in and find pictures and commentary that are simply wonderful. The mural below was painted sometime after the 17th century but the church itself is one of the many ancient churches in Ethiopia that are rock hewn. This one, Abreha wa Atsbeha dates to the 4th century.

Ethiopian Mary

Ethiopian Mary

A picture of the church can be found at Discover the Real Ethiopia

Finally, here is a Japanese representation with an interesting  history.

japanese-madonna2

I found this at a site called Laputan Logic (scroll down to the entry called “Japanese Whispers”.

This is a very interesting post on Christianity in Japan. The author describes the various persecutions of Christians in Japan (Christianity was totally proscribed in the early 17th century and Japanese Christians faced horrific persecution) and says that this particular representation disguises the Virgin as Kuan Yin, a compassionate deity in Chinese and Japanese Buddhism.  The whole post is very interesting and well worth reading.

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