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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : THE MYSTERY OF THE BLACK MADONNA :

A Black Madonna or Black Virgin is a statue or painting of Mary in which she is depicted with Dark Skin or as a Black Woman, especially those created in Europe in the medieval period or earlier in this specialized sense " Black Madonna " does not refer to images of the Virgin Mary portrayed as specifically ethnically Black, which are popular in Africa and areas with large Black population, such as Brazil and the United States. But rather refer to all portrayals of the Virgin Mary with dark skin that are created during this time period. The Black Madonna are generally found in Catholic areas, the term refer to a type of Marian Statue or Painting of mainly Medieval origin ( 12c - 15c ) with dark or black features whose exact origins are not always east to determine.


The statues are mainly wooden but occasionally stone, often painted and up to 75cm tall. They fall into two main groups, free standing up right figures and seated figures on a throne. The pictures are usually icons which are Byzantine in styles often made in 13th or 14th century Italy. There are about 450 - 500 Black Madonna in Europe depending on how they are classified. There are at least 180 Vierges Noires in France and there are hundreds of non-medival copies as well. Some are in museum, but most are are in churches or shrines and are venerated by devotees, A few are associated with miracles and attract substantial number of pilgrims. Important early studies of dark images in France were done by Marie Durant-Lefebure (1937) Emile Saillens (1945) and Jacques Huyden (1972). The first study of Black Madonna in English appered to have been presented by Leonard Moss in 1952.