3749 – Black Madonna Statue

Physical description:
Black Madonna statue, with the Virgin depicted wearing gold and blue robes and a gold crown-like headdress. She is holding red flowers in her right hand, and her robes incorporate roundels of Biblical scenes.
Museum classification:
Christian Magic
Size:
14cm x 28cm x 3cm
Information:

Reproduction of the Black Madonna of Halle in Belgium.

Stephen Benko in The Virgin Goddess (1993) has argued that Black Madonna is a pagan survival and evidence of an ancient earth goddess cult that was in part absorbed by Chrisitianity.  He notes that many goddesses were pictured as black, among them Artemis of Ephesus, Isis and Ceres. Ceres, the Roman goddess of agricultural fertility, is central to Benko’s argument, as Ceres’s Greek equivalent, Demeter, derives from Ge-meter or Earth Mother. The colour of the skin may relate to the fertility of black soil.

Levannah Morgan, at the Museum's workshop "Isis: Queen of Heaven" in December 2016 said that some of the Black Madonnas are actually statues of the Goddess Isis that were reconfigured for use by the early Church.  Several of the Churches/places associated with Black Madonna worship were previously centres of Isis worship (many were near the Sea and Isis was Goddess of the ships or Stellar Maris).

Resource:
Object
Materials:
Resin or plastic

Reproduction of the Black Madonna of Halle in Belgium.

Stephen Benko in The Virgin Goddess (1993) has argued that Black Madonna is a pagan survival and evidence of an ancient earth goddess cult that was in part absorbed by Chrisitianity.  He notes that many goddesses were pictured as black, among them Artemis of Ephesus, Isis and Ceres. Ceres, the Roman goddess of agricultural fertility, is central to Benko’s argument, as Ceres’s Greek equivalent, Demeter, derives from Ge-meter or Earth Mother. The colour of the skin may relate to the fertility of black soil.

Levannah Morgan, at the Museum's workshop "Isis: Queen of Heaven" in December 2016 said that some of the Black Madonnas are actually statues of the Goddess Isis that were reconfigured for use by the early Church.  Several of the Churches/places associated with Black Madonna worship were previously centres of Isis worship (many were near the Sea and Isis was Goddess of the ships or Stellar Maris).