A Győri Egyházmegye lapja
Különszám a kegykép Győrbe érkezésnek 350. évfordulójára 2005.
I sleep, but my heart stays vigilant
One of art history’s oldest auxillary sciences is icon graphicing, which in essence, studies the icon picture’s writings and contents; their meaning thus, more fully understood. The style of work of the Virgin Mary with her Sleeping Child, was developed from the 14th century Velencian art form; perhaps bizantinspatterned and in the centuries that followed, more so the pattern of art form spread to the northern Italian territories.
Upon first glance, the subject of Mary with her child Jesus seems so realistice with its personable life-like image brought closer to the viewer as the Savior and Holy Mother, so different is this from the earlier depictions.
In the symbolic middle-period thinking, though with the obvious phenomenons, deeper spiritual contents is reciprocated. The sleeping child motif brought from everyday life could have changed to represent Christ’s death symbol. The composition of the sleeping child in His mother’s arms brings to mind the Pieta as well, where Mary is holding in her embrace her dead Son.
In the second half of the 16th century, this style of picture appeared in the territories beyond the Alps. The earliest examples were based upon the tridentinum renewal in one of Catholism’s holy centers; in Flandria in Antwerp where copper engravings were produced. Hieronymus (1553-1624) had works based upon the theme in many series, each series containing several varied pieces. The copper engraved, small paper print was remarkably portable and thus became a popular genre at the time: it quickly fullfilled the demand, it was easily circulated and it served as an example for other engravers, in fact to the painters themselves as well. Besides all of this, the theme’s widespread interest cannot be fully described. Based upon the Wierx series, Martin de Vas (1532-1603) and Abraham van Merlin (1579-1660) produced engravings. The examples of painted works are unusualy few in number. From Madrid at the Monasterio de las Descalzes Reales, we know of one painting from the 16th century Flandria which at this time belonged to the Spanish crown. Another one from München; then still in Antwerp, Flaman baroque’s greatest master, P.P. Rubens, who immortalized the theme in two distinct creations. These small- sized engravings and pictures similary supported the individual worshiper’s inspiration and simultaneously widely proclaimed the renewed and unbroken Eccliastic worship of The Virgin Mother Mary.
Győr’s devotional picture, is most likely, a production of the Flaman masterwork’s medium: although, in many ways, it is presumed unique to its predecessors. More extensive accuracy of the cohesive facts presented will need further research.
© Hitvallás - a Győri Egyházmegye folyóirata - 2002-2005
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