(Vierges Noires, otherwise know as "Black Virgin" is something I have recently taken an interest in. My latest "Tribe Member" painting is nearly finished (blog post with photos to come soon) and my sister commented to me that her dark face reminded her of these Religious symbolic icons. I love and adore icon paintings, I was lucky enough to do a workshop years ago where I got to create one (the bottom image) and the ancient process fascinates me. I decided to do some reading on the "Black Virgins" as I slowly and gently finish my latest lady, who is sporting a dark mysterious face.
The Black Madonna is generally found in Catholic and Orthodox countries and are mainly of medieval origin ( 12th - 15th centuries). There are over 180 Black Madonnas in France and the images can be put into three categories: (1) dark brown or black Madonnas with skin pigmentation matching that of the indigenous population; (2) various art forms that have turned black as a result of physical factors such as deterioration of pigments, accumulated smoke from the use of votive candles, and accumulation of grime over the ages, and (3) no ready explanation. I am especially taken with Theotokos (Greek title for Mary), one of three surviving icons in Turkey. I love being inspired but I also love that my painting has inspired me to learn more about these beautiful Vierges Noires.
Sydney based mixed media artist.