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Name Class Professor Date Christian Iconographies in The Girlhood of Mary Virgin I. Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Girlhood of Mary Virgin The artwork The Girlhood of Mary Virgin was Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s first debut on oil painting. It was first shown in a free exhibition at the Hyde Park Corner Gallery in London gallery in March of 1849…
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Download file to see previous pages II. The female in Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Girlhood of the Mary Virgin Without doubt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s first public oil painting The Girlhood of Mary has religious theme and symbolisms. In the visual rendering of the painting, it already impressed some sort of religiosity although it may not be that obvious until one interprets the symbolisms in the artwork and associate the description of the sonnets inscribed at the bottom of the frame. In addition, the production of another painting of the Virgin Mary in the succeeding year which is the Ecce Ancilla Domini which depicted the Annunciation of Angel Gabriel to Mary that she is about to have an immaculate conception confirms the religious anthem of the painting (Cullari 3). Donnelly aptly described that Dante Gabriel’s Rossetti’s idea of “female’s excellence” such as the depiction of a woman and her femininity in his first major public painting The Girlhood of Mary Virgin is pure, innocent and clean (476). In The Girlhood of Mary Virgin, Rossetti’s elevation of the female as a subject transcended beyond her aesthetic beauty of which Rossetti was known to be enamoured and included her sanctity as a woman to the point that she belonged to the deity. This may have been attributed to the various influences of Rossetti’s social milieu during the Renaissance era where the female is idealized as pure and innocent where Rossetti lavished it with religious theme in his first two works (The Girlhood of Mary Virgin and Ecce Ancilla Domini) to stress further how much he esteemed the female. The manner of which the subjects (Mary and St. Anne) were conveyed was startling if not unconventional. Rossetti’s portrayal of his female subjects transcended beyond the visual but also included verbal description through sonnets that were equally beautiful and lofty. The representation of the female in Rossetti’s first two works, particularly the first (The Girlhood of Mary) to his audience was as if to educate medieval parishioners about femininity by the authority of a priest using words and pictures for those who cannot read (Marsh 28). The combination of this two medium goes beyond “the word-image opposition in that it consistently threatens the temporal-spatial divide through which images and texts are normally separated” (Donnely 476). The meanings derived from the associated of the painting and the sonnet goes beyond the regular perception of narratives that disturbs the traditional perception in art with regard to its progression and form. In a way, The Girlhood of Mary is a prelude and preparation of the Virgin Mary before she will bear the child Jesus as announced by the angel Gabriel in the Annunciation or Ecce Ancilla Domini. The accompanying “sonnet captured the intense segment of Rossetti’s thought and feeling” that made the painting dense not only in the style and manner it was rendered but also in symbolism (Armstrong 462). III. Christian iconography in The Girlhood of Mary Virgin Rossetti’s painting The Girlhood of Mary is dense with symbolism. Almost every person and object in the painting suggests some form of symbolism and was not just placed in the painting just to serve a singular aesthetic purpose. The most noticeable symbolism in the painting is the mentoring of Mary’s mother, St. Anne. Typically, tutorship involves homeschooling that required a student to read. In the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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