Weekly Photo Challenge: Face

May 14, 2016 at 9:45 am 8 comments

Virgin Mary
Location: Lake Bled, Slovenia

While in Lake Bled, Slovenia, our guide took us to the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary located on the island in the middle of the lake. He directed us to the Virgin Mary statue on the altar.

“Look at her face,” he said. “Do you notice something?”

It was Caucasian just like how she is portrayed in Europe. What distinguished it from the others, though, was the artist’s decision to make it look like the Empress Maria Theresa, ruler of the Habsburg empire in the 18th century.

Virgin Mary
Another statue of the Virgin Mary had the same resemblance to the empress.

According to our guide, the practice wasn’t totally isolated during the time of her reign.

It was an artistic license brought to extreme for sure. But can we blame the artist?

Every artist past and present has faced (no pun intended) an unenviable challenge of depicting a subject that he hasn’t seen. The task becomes even more daunting when no physical description exists. As a result, we should look at his art with understanding and an open mind.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. arv!  |  May 14, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    great response to WPC-faces

    • 2. plaridel  |  May 14, 2016 at 12:26 pm


      thank you. i’m glad you liked it. 🙂

      • 3. arv!  |  May 16, 2016 at 10:19 am


  • 4. Suvi  |  May 14, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    How interesting, thank you for sharing this story!

    • 5. plaridel  |  May 14, 2016 at 12:27 pm


      thank you. if you care to know. empress maria theresa was the mother of queen marie antoinette who lost her head during the french revolution.

      • 6. Suvi  |  May 14, 2016 at 2:04 pm

        Interesting fact, thank you! I was quite facinated with Marie Antoinette when I was younger 🙂

        • 7. plaridel  |  May 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm


          i think her mother was more interesting. would you believe that marie antioinette had 15 siblings. it was amazing that the empress was a hands-on mother while managing a large empire.

  • 8. Face (in Flowers) | What's (in) the picture?  |  May 15, 2016 at 1:48 am

    […] Musings of a Random Mind Weekly Photo Challenge: Face […]


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