Annunciation Of Mary Analysis

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According to Catholic Culture, religion is the worship and service of God, while the broad concept of spirituality can be defined as “a connection to something bigger”.

The 25th of March each year marks the Annunciation of Mary. This is when the Angel Gabriel came to Mary and said "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.” (Luke 1: 26-38). Created in ca. 1660 by Spanish artist, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, The Annunciation (image 1) is captured in a modest way, conserving the 17th century. Self-taught Haitian artist, Patricia Brintle captures the Annunciation (2011) from a cultural aspect reflecting her background and youth (image 2).

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Mary is pictured with a dark skin tone to reflect Caribbean images and visions of Mary. The yellow colour present in Mary’s halo and behind the dove to represent understanding. Mary understood God’s task to carry and raise the son of God3. The halo around Mary is a symbol of greatness and honour8, as she is the blessed virgin given the role to carry Jesus. The dark shades of red and black coming from the lower right-hand corner, represent poverty and troubles14. The gospel explains that Mary came from a poor family, and is a woman who is very hard working3. Brintle uses the colour green on the sleeves of Mary’s clothing and on Jesus, to reflect her background and growing up and playing in and amongst the greenery14. Mary is pictured facing towards the dove (the symbol of God). The dove being placed above Mary shows that God has more power of Mary. Mary is facing directly at God indicates that she has his attentiveness16.

Brintle’s culture influence on the painting can be used to connect and relate believers to the Annunciation with a Caribbean descent. Mary and Jesus (image 2) are pictured with a dark skin tone, which would be commonly seen in the Caribbean region14. This is important because this is what many people in the area would have grown up with the image of Mary. The audience can feel closer to God through the symbols used and the bright
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Katrina Gregos once said in a Ted talk “imagine for a moment a world without art, and culture … that world would be a very very dull place devoid of imagination”. Although the importance of art is “underestimated in Australia” it can be used to express feelings, thoughts and observations.

Religious and spiritual feelings come from the soul8, meaning that they can not be seen by others, but images can be expressed through art. Religious art adds to Australian society by showing natural and artistic beauty to God’s message. Spiritual art connects people to the realism of the world while also adding meaning to life. Indigenous Australians have been using art for many years to express their spirituality and beliefs, through ceremonies, rituals and paintings. Artwork creates a visual imagery in the viewer’s mind, to portray messages of religion and spirituality into Australian society and
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