“Sandro Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, Francesco Botticini, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Mary Cassatt, and Salvador Dali. The world’s greatest fine artists, along with thousands who are lesser known, felt the need to reveal their vision of the Virgin Mary through art. Whether painted with oil on canvas or carved in marble, more artwork has been created of Mary than any other woman in history.
From the first century, patrons displayed paintings and statues of Our Lady in courtyards, churches, and homes and carried them into battle. These representations honor her and plea for assistance. Devotees feel her image promotes a sense of protection. It is a sign that our loving mother is watching over us. Look to the streets of Rome for such an example and you will see a portrait of Mary displayed in most city squares. Romans believe that, when under her watchful eye, it is safe to walk the streets and sleep peacefully as night.
Marian art also offers solace in times of loss. For those who are suddenly alone, a figurine or portrait of Mary serves as a reminder that she is with us. In the midst of our sorrow, our holy mother holds us close. “
—Excerpt from Grieving with Mary
(Artwork: Rest in Flight into Egypt. Gerard David)