20 December 2020

V. M. Traverso on the Oldest Images of Mary

"As summarized in a recent article, the Old and New Testament provide many descriptions of the words and actions of Jesus but none about his looks. That's why painters and icon-makers relied mostly on artistic canon, rather than realism, when they had to portray the Messiah in icons or frescoes. The same principle goes for Mary, as the scriptures do not provide many details about her appearance either.

"But by looking at the earliest depictions of the Blessed Mother, we can infer a lot about the main character traits that artists wanted to stress - from nurturing and motherly love to obedience to God - and about the different artistic styles developed by Christian communities during the first nine centuries of Christianity."

In a recent re-post of her commentary, writer V. M. Traverso reflected on the nine most ancient depictions of Mary known to historians.

To access her complete post, please visit:

Aleteia: V. M. Traverso: The oldest images of Mary (19 OCT 18)

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