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All About Mary

Bodenhausen Madonna

– Answered by Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Q: What do you know about the Bodenhausen Madonna?

A: The Bodenhausen Madonna is a pre-Raphaelite representation of Our Lady painted by Cuno von Bodenhausen. Cuno von Bodenhausen (b. 1852) was a modestly renowned German painter of typically pre-Raphaelite obedience. Little is known of his overall artistic work and life. A reproduction of The Song in Clarence Cook's Art and Artists of Our Time, (1888, vol. 2, pp. 202-203), matches the atmosphere of the Bodenhausen Madonna and is described as "graceful piece of sentiment, much more French than German in its refinement and delicacy."

The Song (depicting a girl who just made a garland and listens to the song of a bird) shows the same ethereal and remote beauty as the Madonna. She is standing on a bank of clouds and holds the baby in her arms. Her head is covered with a veil but her hair flows freely in the back. Light breaks through the clouds, in the lower right corner three faintly painted crosses can be seen. The exact date of origin of this Madonna painting is not known. A postcard reproduction indicates that it was copyrighted 1910 by E. A. Perry (The Perry Pictures, Boston Edition).

All About Mary includes a variety of content, much of which reflects the expertise, interpretations and opinions of the individual authors and not necessarily of the Marian Library or the University of Dayton. Please share feedback or suggestions with marianlibrary@udayton.edu.

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