Since Thursday is the day when we contemplate the Luminous Mysteries, instituted by Blessed John Paul II, I decided to dedicate today’s article to Our Lady of Light, depicted in the painting above by Russian artist, Natalia Tsarkova. (Click on the photo above for a larger image).
Before I explain the painting, here is a video explaining the artist’s relationship with the late John Paul II.
As the video explains, Natalia painted 5 portraits of the Pope, one of which became his official portrait. She has since made a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI. Both portrats and more of Natalia’s work can be viewed on this sight.
John Paul II is also featured in Our Lady of Light, although he’s a little hard to find.
Natalia included Pope John Paul II in this piece (in the trumpet bell of one of the angels), since he is the one who introduced the Luminous Mysteries, which the painting represents.
The angels in the portrait represent the different mysteries of the rosary. The first angel (top right) is hearkens to the Annunciation, presenting Mary with a passage from Isaiah foretelling the coming of the Messiah.
The next two angels represent the sorrowful and glorious mysteries. The woeful angel with the crown of thorns is reading Isaiah’s account of the Suffering Servant, while the more optimistic angel draws his attention to the mystery of the resurrection, by pointing upward to the light.
The angels with the trumpets are announcing the ushering in of the Luminous Mysteries. That is why Natalia thought it fitting to include the Pope in the bell of the trumpet.
Another interesting detail about this painting is Mary’s garments. In the Eastern tradition, Mary is usually robed in blue, whereas in the Western tradition, she is more often presented in red. Natalia, a Greek Orthodox Christian, fuses both traditions by presenting Mary with a red outer garment and a blue inner garment.
If you are interested in reading more about the meaning behind Mary red and Mary blue, you should follow this link explaining these traditions in Western paintings and Eastern icons of Mary, at Reinkat.