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The Virgin Mary is one of the most recognizable figures in the world. A white washed lady with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes, she is the epitome of Eurocentric beauty.

virgin-mary-holy-young-girl-praying-longCompletely understandable, considering that historically Christianity has been a dominant influence in the European psyche. People tend to fashion their religious icons in their own image. A good example of this is the Japanese artist who portrays the Buddha with Japanese physical features, as opposed to portraying him with more historically accurate Indian physical features. There is nothing wrong with this, but I believe it’s refreshing to go outside our cultural boundaries at times, to re envision the Divine. I believe this is an especially helpful practice if your religious tradition only includes deities and religious figures from a single culture. While we may be drawn to one culture more than others in religious practice, we can all appreciate artwork depicting divine inspiration from every corner of the world. Here I will be sharing some images of the Virgin Mary, as envisioned by artists from around the world.

Africa

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“Madonna and Child” by Tim Ashkar

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“Madonna and Child” by Hulis Mavruk

China

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Chinese Madonna and Child, Artist Unknown

Middle East

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Virgin Mary and Child in a Persian Miniature, Artist Unknown

India

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“Mary and Christ” by Satheesan A.K.

Japan

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“Mother of God”, Artist Unknown

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Japanese Madonna, Artist Unknown

Native American

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“The Aymara Mother and Child” by Fr. John B. Giuliani

Latin America

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Virgin of Guadalupe, Artist Unknown

I believe it’s important to celebrate the Divine in all Her wonderful shades and hues. Every person, every creature, is a unique reflection of the Goddess. Blessed be!

Note: For the paintings I credited as “Artist Unknown”, if anyone knows who the artist is please leave a comment below.

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