1. The Virgin Mary: Introduction

The first film in the series focusing on one of Christianity’s central figures: The Virgin Mary.

This introductory film discusses how Mary is represented in works of art, almost always in the company of her son, Jesus Christ, and often in ways that incorporate complex symbols or that situate her within larger group narratives. It identifies key episodes in Mary’s life and considers what these events meant and continue to mean for Christians as well as what they might mean for those of different faiths or none who see them in art galleries today.

Presented by VCS Director Professor Ben Quash and Deputy Director Dr Jennifer Sliwka.

Artworks: Presbyter Martinus, Madonna as Sedes Sapientiae (Seat of Wisdom), 1199, in the Bode-Museum; Rogier van der Weyden, Miraflores Triptych, before 1445, in the Gemäldegalerie.

Part of the Series Unlocking Christian Art. Produced in partnership with the National Museums in Berlin, these short films tell the story of the Virgin Mary with the help of the treasures of the Bode-Museum and the Gemäldegalerie, both sculpture and painting. These films are designed to equip users to understand, read, and enjoy some of Europe’s greatest works of Christian art, as well as the texts that inspired them, and to encourage fresh interpretation and insight in today’s audiences.


Related Exhibitions

The Breedon Virgin by Unknown Anglo-Saxon artist
Maria (The Return) by Anders Widoff
Ave Maria a Trasbordo (Ave Maria at the Crossing) by Giovanni Segantini

Luke 11:27–28
Blessed is the Mother

More Bode-Museum & Gemäldegalerie Unlocking Christian Art: The Virgin Mary

2. The Presentation & The Betrothal (7:11)
3. The Annunciation (4:19)
4. The Visitation (5:12)
5. The Adoration of the Christ Child (6:04)
6. Leave-Taking (4:04)
7. The Virgin at the Foot of the Cross (7:28)
8. The Dormition / The Assumption (9:29)
9. The Queen of Heaven (7:04)
10. Immaculate Conception (5:15)
11. Holy Kinship (4:52)
12. Byzantine Types and their Legacy (5:42)
13. Virgin as ‘Ecclesia’ and Intercessor (8:02)