I find it very interesting that I chose this painting to do my translation into Yarn. Granted we had to choose an old master and of course Rhaphael is, in my book, an artist that everyone knows and remembers.
So without giving it much thought, I chose this work: The Virgin with Christ and st John the Baptist in the Tuscan setting. St John is the cousin of Christ and patron of Florence. There is an aerial perspective to show the landscape far away from us,the viewers, a perfect idyllic setting. No pain, no struggle the only uneasy sight is the Christ child grasping the cross of St John which is likely to mean the foretelling of the future passion of Christ.
What I see is a serene beautiful mother enjoying nature & embracing her gifts and blessings in her life; knowing that she had been chosen to carry life and love. Accepting her role and responsibilities; to teach and look after that gift or loan (her child) in a selfless manner because one day she would see her son be greater than her. I see that she accepts her role in her life and she is wiser for it.
I do wonder if she ever questioned: what if her life had been different?
Whether she worried about what people were saying? The pain she would have felt when people where laughing at her son. I worry about my son being bullied or laughed at never mind the thought of my son having nails hammered into his hands!
I look at this picture and I wonder, how much pain did she feel? In a small way as a mother I can feel her pain because I forget that she was ordinary, human & probably insecure. Did she suffer from depression?
Did she have days when she couldn’t get out of bed? Did she have fat days? Did she ever have grandchildren? When she went through the menopause did she feel she was past it?
In this picture I see that the artist has captured the joy of being a mother and that’s why I chose this picture because I’m at a time when I’m seeing my children flee the nest and venturing into their own lives. Being greater than me, bigger than me and I can only strive to be like Mary and embrace it without a fight for life is the greatest gift of all!