The Virgin Crowned presents a contemplative view into the life of Our Lady. Wearing her crown as Queen of Heaven and Earth, she pierces the eye of the viewer with a visage of thoughtful sorrow.
The two focal points of light in the art painting, the face and hands, seem to contradict the title of the image. One would think that the typical artistic rendition of the Virgin Mary crowned would be a glorious display of light showcasing the glory, peace and tranquility of the Queen; but we only see sadness and little emphasis on the beautiful crown (other than enough light to let us know that it’s there).
What can be gathered from this almost contradictory Catholic art painting but a mixture of the glory of Mary as Queen and the pathos of Mary as Mother of Sorrows? She holds her hands gently, yet firmly, to stop the sinner from violating her Son’s will further. She holds her hands compassionately, yet humbly, as if to say that glory is not right now, not immediate, but only after the full race of life has been virtuously run. She holds her hands thoughtfully, yet mournfully, as to say that it was not her will to receive a brilliant crown, but it was the will of the eternal Trinity manifest in Jesus Christ.
And so she accepts the jeweled crown in all justice, humility and charity; yet the Virgin Queen reminds souls that it’s not over—we still have much work to do before earning our crown in heaven.
Title: The Virgin Crowned | Artist: Jean Ingres