Friday, May 4, 2012

The Rosary in Art

From the marvelous Paternosters blog, a series on how to recognize a rosary in old paintings. To quote:
I've been looking at some portraits of women with beads around the neck that I'm pretty sure are decorative necklaces and not rosaries. But then I ran across the painting below. It's called "The Magdalen Weeping," and was painted about 1525 in the Workshop of the "Master of the Magdalen Legend." It's now in the National Gallery, London....

A very good clue that something is a rosary is the presence of gauds (marker beads) at regular intervals on a single string of beads, with smaller beads between. The painter may or may not reproduce exactly how many beads are in each interval, but my sense is that the presence of larger, contrasting colored beads like this is probably intended as a signal that this element of the painting represents a rosary. So far, I have not seen anything that couldn't be a rosary that has this feature. (Read entire post.)

1 comment:

Allison said...

This is beautiful! Just a perfect item for Catholic Pinterest. Sharing it there, linking to your blog for credit.