Critical Analysis of Virgin Mary giving the Rosary to St Dominic and St Catherine

Critical Analysis of Virgin Mary giving the Rosary to St Dominic and St Catherine

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This paper is a critical analysis of the Virgin Mary giving the Rosary to St. Dominic and St Catherine of Siena which is an iconic piece of art that is displayed in the Fine Arts Museum of the University Academic Center at Houston Baptist University. This art will be presented by detailing the description, the symbolism, a theory of the unknown artist and periods, and the aesthetics of truth, beauty and spirituality.
The ivory plate carving depicts Mary with Jesus standing in her lap. To her left she is handing St. Dominic (b.1170, d. 1221) a rosary. On the right is St. Catherine of Siena (b.1347 d. 1380) . It appears as if the infant, Jesus, is also handing her a rosary. It is common knowledge that this piece represents the Catholic religious sect because of the figures in purgatory carved at the base of the plate because their commitment to the belief of purgatory is well defined in history.
Images of St. Dominic can be identified in this picture by the dogs, lilies and the rosary, which is common in most visual artist renditions for this era. There is a 15th century legend stating that the rosary worn around his waist was given to him by the Virgin Mary. The lilies are a representation of his notable chastity. The dog is a pun on “domini canis” which is “dog of the Lord”. St. Catherine of Siena also is represented by lilies due to her virtuous youth. She is also known as having a possible stigma which is the cross of Christ probably located on her hands as
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imprinted with the cross of the rosary. Mary in this case is most interesting. She is a representation of “the women, rooted in tradition, are able to embrace the present with a caring tenderness that gives birth to a new life with all of its inherent possibilit...


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...ne of Art History." Adam Lenckhart Placques. http://www.metmuseum.org/collections/search-the- collections?&who=Adam+Lenckhart&ft=*&what=Plaques&pg=1 (accessed February 15, 2014).
—. "Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History." Ivory and Box Wood Carvings 1450-1800. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/boxw/hd_boxw.htm (accessed February 17, 2014).

Jowett, Benjamin. "Internet Classic Archives." Plato's Phaedrus. 1993-2009. http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/phaedrus.html (accessed February 14, 2014).

Knight, Laura. Director of Fine Arts Museum, Houston Baptist University. Houston, February 14, 2014.

Unknown. "All Saints ." The Saints Symbols . http://saintscatholic.blogspot.com/2010/11/saint- symbol-acathius-of-melitene-crown.html. (accessed February 16, 2014).

Unknown. The Art and symbols of St Catherine of Siena Church. Publication, Portage: Parish of St. Catherine, 2012.

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