Out Of The Archives:
The Black Madonna

The Black Madonna is one of life’s little mysteries – one that very few even know about. There are several theories surrounding her existence.

Some believe that it is only a matter of circumstance that brought her into existence. She could merely be a result of the oxidation over time of a white lead paint that was used in painting her skin color. She could also be the color of the wood she was sculpted from. Or, as some believe, her existence is just a fluke.

Others believe that the The Black Madonna is black on purpose and is a symbol of a living connection to Jesus.

Comparisons have been made between The Black Madonna and Tara – the female Buddha of the Tibetan tradition, the black Hindu goddess Kali, and with the Egyptian goddess Isis. She is also compared to early pre-Christan goddesses that were more connected to the earth than the lofty Mary mother of Jesus. The Black Madonna has come to symbolize all that is uniquely grounded in the feminine in the world.

Then there is the Templar version of the Black Madonna and that of the black child that accompanies her. Under early Templar beliefs, the Black Madonna and her child do not represent Mary and her child Jesus, but rather, it represents Mary Magdalene and her child, which was believed to be a girl.

The cult of The Black Madonna arrived on European lands not long after the (supposed) ascension of Christ, when it was believed that Mary Magdalene arrived on the shores of the South of France with her child who was a girl, and was fathered by Jesus. The cult of the Black Madonna supposedly spread throughout France and into Eastern Europe, where there are a number of examples of The Black Madonna in Christian iconography.

In Prague, The Black Madonna adorns the building that currently houses The Czech Museum of Fine Arts. This Black Madonna was originally a part of a much older building that stood on this site until the very early 20th century. It was redesigned in 1912. It is known that at about seventy feet from Museum, the Templars had their center in Prague, although not even a stone or a reference to it, remains today.

The House of the Black Madonna | Dum U cerne Matky Bozi
The Czech Museum of Fine Arts
34 Celetná Street
Prague 1

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