The Virgin Mother.
 Hirst, Damien

Click to enter image viewer

Use the Save buttons below to save any of the available image sizes to your computer.
Download Thumbnail image:
Download Medium image:
Download Large image:
Title:The Virgin Mother

This image depicts a 35 ft. tall bronze statue of “The Virgin Mother,” captured here glowing with radiant luminescence. Weighing in at thirteen and a half tons she appears to defy the laws of science by the sheer grace and poise with which she stands erect. Here, the female anatomical form is revealed to provide the viewer a glimpse of the wonder of humanity in the making. It is difficult to see from this angle, but I am particularly moved by the way in which the artist has caringly placed the mother’s protective hand atop her bulging womb. The work itself a marvel of science, art, and ingenuity, seems a fitting companion for the words of Psalm 139. 13: “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb” (NRSV).

This pericope testifies to the mystical way in which God is ever present with us. It attempts to capture the essence of our relationship with the Sacred Ground of Reality, though even the author admits that, “such knowledge is too wonderful” (139.6). God is in all things and yet contained in no thing. Likewise, God interacts with us in a deeply personal way, being intimately involved in every single facet of our existence, when we “sit down and when I rise up” and yet God is profoundly transpersonal (139.2). Here, I am reminded of the book of Acts description of God as the one in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17.28). -- Chance Dillon

Artist:Hirst, Damien
Building:Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain)
Object/Function:Sculpture, freestanding
Country:Great Britain

Person as Subject:Mary, the mother of Jesus
Lectionary links:BEpip02

(Use this link to refer back to this image.)

Copyright Source:
Copyright Permission:This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License. In short: you are free to use and to share the file for non-commercial purposes under the conditions that you appropriately attribute it, and that you distribute it only under a license compatible with this one. For uses other than the above, contact the Divinity Library at
Attribution:Hirst, Damien. The Virgin Mother, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved December 17, 2018]. Original source:
Record Number:54130 Last Updated: 2011-04-13 15:33:36 Record Created: 2009-01-09 12:41:15
Institution:Vanderbilt University Unit: Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition