Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

Edvard Munch’s Madonna

In Edvard Munch’s painting of Madonna the viewer is given a new perspective on Jesus’ mother Mary.  Where as more classical representations of Mary choose to show her in a chaste manner, this version gives Mary sensuality and is sexualized. Gone is the mother with child, instead the viewer is given a Mary whose breast are exposed, and appears to be in the act of lovemaking.  She is presented as if she is being viewed from the perspective of the man making love to her.

Munch painted her with such skill and full of internal conflict. The eyes are closed expressing modesty, yet the twist of her body is there to reflect the light of her shimmering skin.  Another notable thing about the painting is the halo above Mary. In most classical interpretations of Mary the halo is golden showcasing her as the mother of the king of men, yet here it is red, colors that reflect pain, and passion.   This allows the viewer to not only see Mary as Jesus’ mom but also as a woman. The sensuality of the painting helps it relate to the viewers and takes away some of her divinity and adds some humanity.

Credit Wikipedia for image.


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