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Virgin Mary Sewing, by Hieronymus Wierix

A print depicting the Virgin Mary and friends embroidering (Flemish; early 17th century). A print depicting the Virgin Mary and friends embroidering (Flemish; early 17th century). © The Trustees of the British Museum, London, acc. no. 1859,0709.2967.

An image by the Flemish print maker, Hieronymus Wierix (1553-1619; at the bottom of the print is the text Hieronymus Wierx fecit et excudit) shows the Virgin Mary. The print dates to 1619 or earlier. It depicts the Virgin seated while sewing, surrounded by other young women sewing and embroidering.

Two angels are watching over the Virgin. There is a rectangular embroidery frame, with embroidery, to the extreme left, while the young woman seated next to it is working a piece of embroidery in her hand. Behind her is a seated girl working on a framed embroidery. It is not clear if the Virgin is sewing or embroidering. The young woman to the extreme right is cutting a piece of cloth with a pair of shears.

The medieval Latin text underneath the prints reads: Felix linum, felix lana! Dum te manus Mariana Sacris aptat usibus Inter opus quot lepores, In hoc choro quot amores Infundit virginibus!

Happy flax, happy wool ! When Mary’s hand sets you to its holy tasks, In working, how much charm, in this chorus, how much love does it instill into the maidens ! (translation by Marleen Audretsch).

British Museum online catalogue (retrieved 5 June 2016).

GVE

Last modified on Sunday, 30 April 2017 10:37