Montserrat (cont’d)January 9, 2020 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 6 °C
The term Black Madonna or Black Virgin refers to statues or paintings of the Blessed Virgin Mary in which she, and often the infant Jesus, are depicted with black or dark skin. The Black Madonna can be generally found in Catholic and Orthodox countries.
The statues or paintings are mostly wooden but occasionally stone, often painted and up to 75 cm (30 in) tall. They fall into two main groups: free-standing upright figures or seated figures on a throne. The pictures are usually icons which are Byzantine in style, often made in 13th- or 14th-century Italy. There are about 400–500 Black Madonnas in Europe, depending on how they are classified. There are at least 180 Vierges Noires in France, and there are hundreds of non-medieval copies as well. Some are in museums, but most are in churches or shrines and are venerated by devotees. A few are associated with miracles and attract substantial numbers of pilgrims.
Black Madonnas come in different forms, and the speculations behind the reason for the dark skin of each individual piece vary greatly and are not without controversy. Though some Madonnas were originally black or brown when they were made, others have simply turned darker due to factors like aging or candle smoke. Another cause for the dark-skinned depiction is due to pre-Christian deities being re-envisioned as the Madonna and child.Read more