Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Education of the Virgin

I found a charming Advent Calendar of Art online.   I thought I would mention it since today is December 1st and the calendar paintings might make a nice easy  art study for this month.

 This picture is called The Education of the Virgin and is by either Georges La Tour (1593-1652) or his son Etienne.  I love the way La Tour paints the daily life of the Holy Family and his use of a soft central light like a candle. 

According to a medieval legend, Our Lady asked to be taught from scripture by her mother at home before she was presented at the Temple.

Certainly her beautiful Magnificat canticle shows a profound interior understanding of the Holy Writ: 

My soul doth magnify the Lord. 
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; 
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. 
And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. 
He hath shewed might in his arm:
he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. 
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 
He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: 
As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

I found a couple more paintings celebrating the Education of the Virgin.

Let us pray for the help of Our Lady as we educate our children in their liturgical heritage during this holy season of Advent and Christmas!

Louis Jean François Lagrenée (1725 – 1805)

Diego Velasquez, 1599 –  1660

This last one was discovered only in 2002 and attributed to the early Velasquez.    It was damaged by water in the 17th century  and is now being restored. 

I love the way the young Mary is shown poring over a book or a scroll with her mother Anna guiding her.  

It seems so suitable for what this blog is about! 

Holy Virgin and Saint Anna her mother, pray for us! 


  1. What a gem! I love this idea!!! I looooove these paintings....but then you already knew that :)

  2. Love these paintings!
    Just awarded you the Versatile Blog Award:)


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