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Black Madonna


Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/30/Czestochowska.jpg/33px-Czestochowska.jpg

Description. Lang: en

The term Black Madonna or Black Virgin tends to refer to statues or paintings in Western Christendom of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus, where both figures are depicted in a black overtone. The Black Madonna can be found both in Catholic and Orthodox countries.
The paintings are usually icons which are Byzantine in origin or style, some made in 13th- or 14th-century Italy, others are older and from the Middle East, Caucasus or Africa, mainly Egypt and Ethiopia. Statues are often made of wood but occasionally made of stone, painted and up to 75 cm (30 in) tall. They fall into two main groups: free-standing upright figures or seated figures on a throne. There are about 400–500 Black Madonnas in Europe, depending on how they are classified. There are at least 180 Vierges Noires in Southern France alone, and there are hundreds of non-medieval copies as well. Some are in museums, but most are in churches or shrines and are venerated by believers. Some are associated with miracles and attract substantial numbers of pilgrims.
Black Madonnas come in different forms, and the speculations behind the reason for the dark hue of each individual icon or statue vary greatly and are not without controversy. Though some Madonnas were originally black or brown when they were made, others have simply turned darker due to factors like ageing or candle smoke. The Jungian scholar, Ean Begg, has conducted a study into the potential pagan origins of the cult of the black madonna and child. Another speculated cause for the dark-skinned depiction is due to pre-Christian deities being re-envisioned as the Madonna and child.
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