The Blessed Virgin tenderly eyes the beholder with a smile, for the redemption her Son has won, but with the sorrow of the price He paid. The youthful Virgin cluches a brown coat. Due to her young appearance, it is probable that this portrait of the Mother Mary was meant to be well before the Passion of Christ---perhaps after she had just made the seamless tunic that Jesus wore, which she knew would eventually suffer with her Son. The Sacred Coat, which Our Lady holds in the painting, is referred to in Scripture: "The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top thougout. They said then to one another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lots" (John 19: 23-14). The artist (Charles Bosseron Chambers) is said to have painted many of his religious subjects purely from imagination. He painted this rendition of the Madonna as an altar piece for Saint Ignatius Church, Chicago, where it still resides today.
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