Roses

reading up & sketching down; roses in art (cont.)

Stokes, Marianne, 1855-1927; Madonna and Child
Marianne Stokes (1855-1927) : Madonna and Child 

 

Virgin Mary and Jesus is, one could be tempted to say, a standard motif in Western art. However, most portraits depict the virgin looking at her child. In this picture, by British/Austrian Marianne Stokes, Mary looks up and out, as if to introduce her young child to the viewer.

There are no roses in the painting, but across the background are patterned thorny tendrils and wild parsley. The rose has often been used as a symbol of love – of holy or worldly pleasures, but not so this time. In Stokes’ Madonna and Child the rose – represented only by its thorns – is a symbol of the pain and sorrows of motherhood and a warning of the crown of thorns that the Jesus wore as a man.

3 Comments

  1. No roses, no, but Mary is dressed in a red cloak rather than the traditional heavenly blue. Red = Rose? Red is the color for the doctrine of the Incarnation, where God so loved the world that he gave his Son. . . and so on. Never have seen this painting before and am delighted to see it here. Thank you for posting and raising pungent associations in my mind!

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