Iconografia e simbolismos de Nossa Senhora uma leitura da arte a partir da escritura, da tradição, do magistério, e da liturgia da Igreja

  • Eduardo José Henriques Abrantes (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The present study, consisting of two chapters, speaks about Mary's connection with the texts of Sacred Scripture, and her artistic representations. The initial part is about the writings of the Old Testament and the Mary's figures presented in it and, therefore, a study in indirect report. In these Old Testament texts, we can find the female figures of Eve, Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, and the Wife, depicted in the book Song of Songs. Likewise, there are inanimate figures such as the Burning Bush, the Fleece of Gedeon and the Ark of the Covenant. In these figures, both feminine and inanimate, references to Mary are revealed. The prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 is also analysed as referring to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The analysis of all these figures as reference to Mary, considers the Magisterium and the Church Tradition, especially through the study of the Church Fathers and an overview
of the Mariology's evolution. We also study its relationship with the liturgy and devotion. In all these figures, which are prefiguration of Mary, we try to illustrate, though artistic
representations and referencing it to the figure under study and his connection to Our Lady.
In the second part, counterpoint to the first, Mary is studied in a direct account, addressing actions, words, and presences of Mary in the New Testament rapports. To do so, we
have considered the presence of the Virgin of Nazareth in the episodes of the Angel Annunciation, Elizabeth Visitation, Birth of Jesus, Presentation of Jesus in the Temple,
Wedding at Cana, Crucifixion of Jesus, and Pentecost. We also studied the Apostle John's vision in chapter XII of the book of Revelation, as referring to Mary of Nazareth. To the study of these episodes of Mary's life, as in the previous part, some texts of the Magisterium and Tradition of the Church are considered, passing through devotion and liturgy, seeking to illustrate, through artistic representations, Mary's characteristics.
Throughout this work, the shapes, colours, and symbols assigned to Our Lady, are studied from the images of the artistic representations that appear during the text. These ways of representing art will be varied, trying to illustrate the themes addressed with abundant physical ways of artistically representing the image of Mary. For that, illustrations are used from fresco painting in Catacombs, through oil painting on panel, illumination on parchments and books, sculptures, stained glass, not forgetting the tiles. In all those forms of art that Mary is represented, she shines, comes to us.
Date of Award11 Oct 2023
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJosé Paulo Leite de Abreu (Supervisor)


  • Mary
  • Scripture
  • Fathers of the Church
  • Art
  • Symbols
  • Iconography


  • Mestrado Integrado em Teologia

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