A moment that art remembers
Some days are different. you wake up thinking you’re OK. Not much money. But engaged to a man with a decent job. Then an angel appears. Says you’re going to have a baby. A special one. Not like those who grow up thinking they are the center of the universe. This one is the center of the universe.
A scene like that can’t help but inspire good art.
One such painting of the Annunciation was created by Fra Filippo Lippi (1406-1469). Pictured here is a work of Cincinnati-based artist Holly Schapker created in homage to that Italian masterpiece. In 2017, the University’s Marian Library commissioned Schapker to create a series of 24 oil paintings honoring the life of Mary through the numerous flower legends associated with her.
In this Annunciation painting, the angel holds a lily, a symbol of purity.
“Tradition tells that after Mary touched the flower, which had been scentless, an exquisite fragrance arose from it,” Schapker wrote. Another tradition is connected with the violet pictured outside Mary’s window. According to that narrative, when Mary accepted God’s calling, when she affirmed her vocation, the violet — whose associations include love and humility — bloomed.
... when Mary accepted God’s calling, when she affirmed her vocation, the violet — whose associations include love and humility — bloomed.
On March 25, the Gospel for the Feast of the Annunciation has the angel Gabriel saying, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Easy for an angel to say. But it is a human being listening.
As for Mary, Schapker wrote that “the palette of this painting shows a wide variety of colors that represent the many emotions Mary must have felt in this moment.”