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Blessed Virgin Mary with Snake

Description

"One of his earliest works, Wickham’s sculpture of the Blessed Virgin Mary apparently demonstrated some of his greatest skill at realism. Dressed in a white gown with blue trim and gathered at her right hip, the Virgin held her hands crossed and close to her breast. Her head was crowned with what appears to be a halo with stars. She stood on a low dome, presumably modeled from an inverted washtub, her feet encircled by a serpent.

Michael Dinsmore, neighbor and son of Wickham’s friend O’Neal Dinsmore, remembers the awe with which he regarded the rearing head of the serpent at the Virgin’s foot when he was a child. The combination of woman and serpent reminds many viewers of the temptation of Eve. In the Catholic Church Mary is viewed as the new Eve, undoing the Fall of Man in Genesis by bearing the Christ child. The Old Testament refers to Eve bruising the head of the serpent, which is interpreted visually in Catholic iconography by showing the Virgin Mary crushing a serpent symbolizing Satan, as shown here.

Wickham first kept this statue of the Virgin near his cabin. Family film footage from the late 1950s reveals the placement of the Virgin not far from the 1957 statue of Tecumseh. Eventually, the Blessed Virgin Mary with Snake was moved back into the meadow behind the cabin near statues of Joseph holding the baby Jesus, the Virgin of Fatima and a very large sundial. Nothing of the statue remains."- quoted text is from the 2001 Customs House Museum Online Wickham Exhibit.

Picture Gallery
(Click on image for larger view)

E.T. Wickham by Virgin Mary Statue 1 Mary and Fatima E.T. Wickham by Virgin Mary Statue 2
E.T. Wickham by Virgin Mary Statue 1 Joseph, Christ child,Fatima,Virgin Mary and Sundial E.T. Wickham by Virgin Mary Statue 2

 

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