Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

The Virgin Mary and the Ghent Altarpiece

on January 27, 2022

This beautiful painting of the Virgin Mary is part of the Ghent Altarpiece created by the well-known Flemish painter, Jan Van Eyck, in 1432. Rich in exquisite color and detail, the painting shows Mary holding a girdle book and represents her attribution as the “Seat of Wisdom.” Girdle books were popular between the 13th and 16th centuries and worn as accessories. A long piece of leather hanging from the book made it possible to secure the book to a garment by means of looping it over the girdle belt. It was then easy to pick up the book and read it whenever the desire hit the owner. Girdle books were popular among monks, clergymen, and aristocrats. Here, Mary is portrayed as an aristocratic woman and represents her role as “Queen of Heaven.”

The Latin inscription reads: “She is more beautiful than the sun and the army of the stars; compared to the light she is superior. She is truly the reflection of eternal light and a spotless mirror of God.”

Dawn Pisturino

January 20, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.


19 responses to “The Virgin Mary and the Ghent Altarpiece

  1. wjwingrove97 says:


    Liked by 3 people

  2. My first thought:

    2 Angels

    My second thougt:

    Netherland, America, Germany

    Art can be transported by www

    We not.🌞

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Iowa Life says:

    Good info. I didn’t appreciate that genre of paintings until I saw some in person and was struck by their magnificence.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Neal Saye says:

    Stunning painting!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The combination of textures and gems is amazing in this portrait. Thanks so much for sharing another piece of artistic history with us Dawn. πŸŽ¨πŸ–ŒπŸ–Ό I didn’t know this. πŸ€—

    Liked by 3 people

  6. We must not forget ordinary women were not allowed to read books in those days, so the painting depicts a kind of myth, or maybe the painter sneakily tried to introduce a new idea into society?

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Trishikh says:

    I have always been fascinated with painting of the ‘Mother and Child’, my mother who is a painter, painted similar oul on canvas many years back, which still hangs on the wall of our school. Thanks for sharing this beautiful icon of history.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. […] The Virgin Mary and the Ghent Altarpiece β€” Dawn Pisturino’s Blog […]

    Liked by 1 person

  9. balladeer says:

    That is an incredible painting!

    Liked by 1 person

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