Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Our Lady is definitely not blonde

April 7th, 2011, Promulgated by Bernie

From Linen on the Hedgerow

Related here,  here,  here, and here

We return to the topic of Marian images to stimulate our critical thinking about liturgical art. Please note that I am not necessarily in agreement with the opinion expressed in the link, Linen on the Hedgerow.

Picture: The Daily Telegraph. Our Lady as portrayed by poet Lynn Roberts


That excellent Catholic journalist, Christopher Howse writes in Saturday’s Daily Telegraph about Mary the Mother of God and how she has been perceived and portrayed by artists and poets. He quotes from a poem called “Icon” by contemporary poet and talented artist, Lynn Roberts:

    “She is a dark/scared girl in dusty djellabah and veil,/with dirty feet.”

I like the realism of this type of portrayal; it shows beauty, honesty and a certain level of basic human goodness. I much prefer this sort of treatment over the conventional blonde haired virgin so beloved of the western world. Those who commission the creation of  statues and those who carry them out seem oblivious to…

"Our Lady of Lourdes"


"Our Lady of Akita" Japan


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3 Responses to “Our Lady is definitely not blonde”

  1. Cindy says:

    My favorite image of Our Lady is the one my daughter painted for me a few years ago. She is great with child, and looks like she’s Jewish!

  2. Scott W. says:

    I like the realism of this type of portrayal;

    We are living in an unfortunate Tyranny of Gritty Realism age of aesthetics.

  3. Eliza10 says:

    It is a lovely image of a beautiful Jewish woman.

    But I disagree that Our Lady was definately not blonde. Although, it is culturally incorrect now to think of her as blond, or to think of her as having the ideally feminine features she has been depicted with by over the centuries. Also its politically incorrect to think of Jesus as having blond or light hair. But the negative image of Jesus on the holy Shroud of Turin makes it hard to reconcile that he had dark hair.

    Jesus got his humanity from Our Lady, and they are both from the royal line of David – who was described in scripture as “ruddy” – which has been interpreted as him being a redhead. While we think of the stereotypical Jew as dark and swarthy, the fact is they had other coloring, too.

    Then there are the surviving descriptions of not only Jesus but Mary of the day. I love these:

    And they match the descriptions given by my favorite seer.

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