All About Mary

Oldest Representation of the Marriage of Mary and Joseph

Q: Where can the earliest image of the marriage of the Virgin be found?

A: The earliest extant representation of Mary's betrothal with Joseph both in East and West are dated around the fifth century. In the Western Church the oldest extant sample can be seen in the museum of Le Puy, France (4/5 C). We are dealing here with the relief of a sarcophagus. It represents the veiled Mary putting her left hand in Joseph's right hand. Behind the figures of Mary and Joseph there is the figure of an angel with halo and scroll, a reference probably to Juno Pronuba appearing in similar representations of classical antiquity to assist the couple and validate their union. The oldest extant example in the Eastern tradition (5c) is to be found in Venice (columns of the tabernacle in San Marco). The image seen here is a painting by Raphael of the Marriage of the Virgin.

CONTACT

International Marian Research Institute


300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1390
937-229-4214
Website
Email
CONNECT

Keyword Search

Would you like to begin a new keyword search?

Get Started