Madonna of the Month: December 2010

Immaculate Conception (c. 1628)
Pieter Pauwel RUBENS
Oil on canvas, 198 x 137 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Our Lady is beautiful and there is no stain of sin in her! I love how the radiant Woman of Genesis 3 and Revelation 12 crushes the serpent beneath her feet. This painting is rich in meaning: it portrays Our Lady as the New Eve. Like Eve, Mary too was created without the least blemish; however, unlike Eve Mary refused to eat of the fruit of disobedience, the fruit at her feet. The laurel wreath symbolizes the fact that Our Lady (the New Eve) participated in the triumph of the her Son (the New Adam) on the Cross before and after it happened. This is one of my favorite images of the Immaculate Conception.

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