12 October 2009

Our Lady's hair

We all know that in the last years of the Middle Ages, Western iconography tended to show our blessed Lady with long, loose, waist-length hair. But what colour was it?

In the Bodleian 'Bindings' Exhibition, there is a C14 book with the Coronation of our Lady on the front, in enamel. And while our Lord has very clearly brown hair, our Lady's hair is distinctly golden.

5 comments:

rev'd up said...

My oratories Immaculate Heart portrays her with luxurious, glossy red hair. The print was made in Italy 1950's.

Patricius said...

I imagine Our Lady's hair, well actually her general appearance, to be consonant with Tolkien's depiction of Luthien - namely, with deep grey eyes and shadowy hair. Her face must have been the wonder of wonders...

Pastor in Valle said...

Isn't the long unbound hair supposed to be a symbol of virginity?

Patricius said...

Pastor, yes, Elizabeth I, the tyrant queen, let her hair down as she paraded through Westminster for her coronation...

Fr Ray Blake said...

Patricius,
Uncovered hair for women was a sign of Royal dignity. Presumably, a bit difficult to annoint a brow if covered with veil. Hence in images of the Coronation of the Virgin she is bearheaded.

Golden hair presumably has a connection with the whole iconograhy of "gold". It represents that which is graced, purified and refined, also that which gives "right glory" and that which appertains to light, divinity and regality.

In the case of the BVM her hair is truly her "crowning glory", it symbolises her natural clothing is glory or grace.