Mother of God in Lithuanian Folk Art
Lithuanian Art Museum has a huge collection of old folk sculpture. Virtual exhibition ‘Mother of God in Lithuanian Folk Art’ reveals the charm of folk sculpture and the significance of Blessed Virgin Mary in the tradition of Christian culture. The Mother of God is frequently depicted in the Way of the Cross; another frequent plot is the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mary the daughter of Joachim and Anne was born in Nazareth; she is a high born from the King David’s family. Mary’s childhood is rarely depicted in folk art. In the sculptural composition ‘St. Anne and Blessed Virgin Mary’ is seen upbringing scene – Mary stands next to her mother who holds prayer-book and teaches her to read.
Virgin Mary was born without original sin. Angel Gabriel revealed to Mary that God had chosen her to be earthly Mother of Jesus Christ. In 1854 the Church acknowledged the dogma of Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary. The image of Immaculate Conception diffused in the second half of the 19th c. From the ancient times May is dedicated for the veneration of Blessed Virgin Mary. Faithful people place icons of Blessed Virgin Mary by their outdoor crosses, chants venerating psalms.
There are the Seven Dolors of Mary that are symbolized by seven swords stabbed in to the heart of Mother of God. Folk artists frequently used motives of the Seven Dolors in their creation work. Mary is depicted standing under the cross in the Crucifixion scene. During the Holy Week faithful people chant psalms dedicated for Mother of Sorrows. The Pieta is a particularly frequent subject in Christian folk art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus. The composition of two figures accentuates close link between Mother and Son, the role of Blessed Virgin Mary in the Redemption is emphasized.
Divine motherhood reveals the image of Mary with Infant in her hands. Mary is usually depicted standing frontally, wearing red dress; blue cloak covers head and shoulders. Infant Jesus sits on Mary’s left hand.
Mary after her earthly life was the first resurrected mortal taken to Heaven and crowned. Mary as the Queen of Heaven in folk sculptures is depicted standing tranquil with a royal crown. Blessed Virgin Mary is Patron, Protector, Advocate, and Mother of Mercy who is a guard and a saviour of faithful people. Couple sculptures depict Mary of the Gate of Dawn of Vilnius.
The depiction of the Most Gracious Virgin Mary in folk art spread in the second half of the 19th c. Virgin Mary is depicted with outstretched arms radiating golden rays. Every golden ray is a symbol of Mary’s grace given for mankind.
Folk sculpture conveys the life of Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the realest symbol of the God’s rebirth in a man, Christian faith and the Church.