Thursday, May 31, 2007

Feast of the Visitation: Mary and Elizabeth

This one is from Vietnam. In Mary's hand is one of those large conical almost flat Vietnamese hat. Note the chicken(s) in the yard in the background. The artist wasn't named but the site did say he was Buddhist. Reproductions of this painting are frequent in Vietnamese Catholic circles. A group of originally French Australian nuns who now minister in Vietnam posted this.

This one is from Australia, by an artist named Frank Wesley. (Yes, he is inspired by art from India. And, methinks, by Persian miniatures.)


Nuff said.


If I have time late tonight, I will post a little snippet from a homily I preached in Advent many moons ago and which is about the Mary and Elizabeth encounter.

Meanwhile --or instead-- do visit Grandmère Mimi for a lovely, thoughtful post on today's feast (complete with the biblical text and reference) and for a reproduction of the stunning Ghirlandaio Visitation, and also Padre Rob's cyber-place. Rob has a great love for the Christian East, and for Mary as the Theotokos (God-bearer). He's also got a piece of a Bede Visitation sermon up on the blog, for you Northumbrian fans.

And don't miss the humor in MadPriest's three Visitation pictures:





johnieb said...


I was both drawn to and repelled by the first painting; I think I get it now.

Its ordinariness strongly attracts me; it's working-class art: all we can afford for cheer and guidance. Mass-produced, strong demotic narrative, and the expression on the BVM's face of Gospel shared at last with her kinswoman en famille.

But I find the "Asian, specifically Vietnamese", cues overly subtle, perhaps due to "technical difficulties"? Mary's hat may be French country straw, (Hat? Toi da quen roi.) and a skirt on a peasant woman?!!

But it seems to allude to gathered baggy culotte style pants, but subtly, so as not to suggest too strongly that our Lord's Mother might appear to be of a lesser race. What's the phrase? (I couldn't find it, and I have no French, dangit): Mission Civilisatrice? Europe to the benighted world. Poor world.

What repels me are the reminders of this racist Imperial venture, which met more than its match in the will of these scrawny little nobodies: poor and backward as they were (and are), nothing was more precious to them than independence and liberty.

Hoan ho Thua Bac Nguyen ai Quoc.

Hoan ho ngoui Vietnam

RIP Ho Chi Minh

johnieb said...

Oops. Should be "nguoi": = "person", here "Hooray for the people of Vietnam".