Looking down on empty streets, all she can see
Are the dreams all made solid
Are the dreams all made real
Peter Gabriel – Mercy Street
A common theme in Catholic imagery is that of the Virgin of Mercy (Madonna della Misericordia ) in which Mary shelters a group of people under her cloak; again showing her role as protector in the same way as her aid was sought in battling the plague. I’d not really noticed it before encountering this version on the exterior wall of San Tomà but examples can be found across Europe in sculpture, paintings, icons and altarpieces.
I think Martin Luther’s disparaging description just about nails it for me; “a hen with her chicks”!
- Our Lady of Mercy (somethingbeautiful.typepad.com)