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Thou art a Vineyard

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By Theophilia   |   
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© 2016 - 2020 Theophilia
Thou art a Vineyard - Shen khar Venakhi
© Cecilia Lawrence
January 9th 2016
9 x 12 inches
Ink and Watercolor


"Thou art a Vineyard
newly blossomed out.
Tender, beautiful, planted in Eden,
Aloe-scented from Paradise.
God adorned thee,
no one deserves praise as thou,
and thou art thyself a brilliant sun."

~ Shen khar Venakhi (www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzFxfc…)

First art of 2016! I've been wanting to make a piece based on this incredibly beautiful Georgian hymn to the Mother of God ever since I first heard it. The music is heavenly and the words are so absolutely enchanting that I had to try and make an illumination piece to match. The text too is very appropriate in celebrating Our Lady's Immaculate Conception, so I knew that that is what I would depict for the centerpiece image. The composition and illumination style is heavily inspired by the famous Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry and the International Gothic style. The imagery in the illustration is typical of most depictions of the Immaculate Conception: Mary is shown as a young maiden, wearing a white robe symbolizing her purity with golden embroidered lilies (also symbols of purity) and a richly decorated blue mantle covered with stars as a symbol of her royalty. She is also the Woman of Revelations: "A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." (Revelation 12:1) Mary's hands are crossed over her breast as a sign of her humility and modesty, and she looks up with love and adoration towards the Holy Trinity above her. God the Father sits enthroned above the cherubim in the heavens, with the Son of God sitting on His lap (imagery borrowed from a  favorite depiction of mine by Viktor Vasnetsov) and the Holy Spirit is hovering over His beloved Spouse--the Blessed Virgin Mary. The rainbow is an extra symbol I added as a reference to Genesis 9 where God says: "I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth." In the same way, Mary is a pledge and a sign of the New Covenant that comes to mankind through her Son, Jesus. The rainbow also references a passage from Sirach traditionally associated with Mary that says: "Like the rainbow gleaming in glorious clouds, like lilies in the days of spring..."

I had initially wanted to have this finished by Our Lady's Feast on December 8th, especially since it began the Church's Jubilee Year of Mercy, but at the time I was still very much occupied with my painting commission of Our Lady of Guadalupe, as well as finishing classes for the semester and other Christmas busy-ness. Then I tried to get it done by January 1st, but, alas, once again I was unable to finish it in time. So this past week I just sat myself down and said I had to finish it before I started working on anything else, and voila! It is done. :aww: Happy New Year everyone!

:iconwhiterose1plz::iconwhiterose2plz::iconwhiterose3plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose1plz::iconwhiterose4plz::iconwhiterose5plz::iconwhiterose6plz:

"For she is the reflection of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.

Although she is one, she can do all things,
and she renews everything while herself perduring;
Passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.

For God loves nothing so much as the one who dwells with Wisdom.

For she is fairer than the sun
and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she is found more radiant;
though night supplants light,
wickedness does not prevail over Wisdom."

~ Wisdom 7:26-30

:iconwhiterose1plz::iconwhiterose2plz::iconwhiterose3plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose1plz::iconwhiterose4plz::iconwhiterose5plz::iconwhiterose6plz:

:rose: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated on December 8th. :rose:
Image size
2920x3864px 5.91 MB
Comments76
anonymous's avatar
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Tamuril2's avatar
Tamuril2Hobbyist
Now this? This is just Epic. 
Theophilia's avatar
TheophiliaProfessional Traditional Artist
:iconilikeitplz:
pavelart's avatar
Masterpiece !
Theophilia's avatar
TheophiliaProfessional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Teradiam's avatar
TeradiamStudent General Artist
Wow, so beautiful!!!! I have a question :) Do you create all the designs or you copy some details from other ancient gothic manuscripts?
Theophilia's avatar
TheophiliaProfessional Traditional Artist
I get the inspiration or ideas from various places, but I make up all of the final designs myself.
Aericlee's avatar
AericleeHobbyist Traditional Artist
According to a different interpretation of that passage from Apocalypse about the woman clothed with sun and moon at her feet and crowned with twelve stars, that woman is not our beloved Lord's beloved mother, but a personification of the nation of Israel(the twelve stars representing the twelve tribes, and the sun and the moon showing Jacob and Rachel respectively, from Joseph's dream in Genesis). What do you think about this?
Theophilia's avatar
TheophiliaProfessional Traditional Artist
The short answer is: it's both! 

The longer answer is that Scripture is fruitfully interpreted in several senses. St. John Cassian (d. 435) was an early Church father who wrote about the four senses of Scripture that can be used to understand and interpret Biblical passages in a harmonious and deep way. There are two main senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual. The literal sense is what the divinely inspired human author intended to write, and what is said plainly or on the surface of the writings. The spiritual sense is what is signified by the writings in light of Christ's coming as Redeemer, or (in the Old Testament, for example) when in foreshadows the New. The spiritual sense is further subdivided into the allegorical sense (or typological sense), the tropological (or moral sense, having to do with the individual human soul), and the anagogic (or future) sense. Taking the example of various Scripture passages about Jerusalem, John Cassian in his Conferences wrote: "And so these four previously mentioned figures coalesce, if we desire, in one subject, so that one and the same Jerusalem can be taken in four senses: historically as the city of the Jews; allegorically as the Church of Christ, anagogically as the heavenly city of God "which is the mother of us all," tropologically, as the soul of man, which is frequently subject to praise or blame from the Lord under this title." (www.ccel.org/ccel/cassian/conf…) This is a good article to read further about the senses of Scripture: www.usccb.org/bible/national-b…

So certainly, in this passage about the woman clothed with the sun, the woman herself could be read allegorically as the people of Israel, literally as Mary, the Mother of Jesus, anagogically as the strivings of the Church in the future, and morally as the individual soul "giving birth" to Christ, that is, by bringing Him forth int heir own life by being a witness to Him. 

So I don't see any real conflict between either of the interpretations, unless someone maintained that only one meaning is really valid, which I think would be a little short-sighted, not to mention presumptuous. 
Aericlee's avatar
AericleeHobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, wow. I never knew or thought of that! 
scwibblingmadness's avatar
MagnificentClap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap Clap 
Theophilia's avatar
TheophiliaProfessional Traditional Artist
Why thank you! :aww:
DreamyNaria's avatar
DreamyNariaHobbyist Traditional Artist
it looks like a piece of art of Jorge Sanchez hernandez, Did you were inspired by him? :)
Theophilia's avatar
TheophiliaProfessional Traditional Artist
Yes! It's one of his images of Our Lady of Guadalupe (and one of my favorite depictions of Our Lady in art). I'm glad you spotted it! It's a pity he's so little known, and I've been hard-pressed to find more of his artwork out there. How are you familiar with him? I found his artwork in a children's book, of all places!
DreamyNaria's avatar
DreamyNariaHobbyist Traditional Artist
I love the contemporary Christian art, but if it's well done, also like your art! :D
So I found the image of Our Lady of Jorge Sanchez Hernandez on pinterest by chance.
His Virgin Mary is so beautiful with those long black hair. It looks like that comes to life from the Tilma.
But it's true he's so little known and there are few of his works online.
Theophilia's avatar
TheophiliaProfessional Traditional Artist
This is my favorite one: www.virgenperegrina.org/docume… (and the one I based her face off of in this image). But here are some more of his paintings from the book where I found it: www.virgenperegrina.org/docume…
DreamyNaria's avatar
DreamyNariaHobbyist Traditional Artist
Yes it's the same that I remember :) and also Juan Diego is so realistic. 
Is maria and yours really have something special!
knightofVirgo's avatar
FANTASTIC

She bless you!!!
Theophilia's avatar
TheophiliaProfessional Traditional Artist
THANK YOU!!! :iconiloveitplz:
simbalm's avatar
simbalmStudent General Artist
Beautiful ! A close to perfect way of making the medieval art of illuminating up-to-date. 
Theophilia's avatar
TheophiliaProfessional Traditional Artist
Thank you!!! :glomp:

And if you like illumination pieces, you should really check out Behydezell's work! He's AMAZING!
simbalm's avatar
simbalmStudent General Artist
Thanks for the tip ! He's on my watchlist now :)
artkronecker's avatar
artkroneckerHobbyist General Artist
These illuminations are just incredible. The border with all the details, text, illustration...Amazing work!
Theophilia's avatar
TheophiliaProfessional Traditional Artist
THANK YOU!!! :dance:
MatejCadil's avatar
MatejCadilHobbyist Traditional Artist
A beautiful work of art! :heart:
anonymous's avatar
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