By Katie Smith.
In her own words.
After reading ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail’ by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln, many years ago, I became very interested in all things Magdalene. Every-time I feel that I’m getting close to knowing why she has this grip on me, or get near to finding a theory of why she holds so many people captive, the answer fades from my intellectual grasp.
I hope in these pages to present and explore some of the aspects of the Magdalene puzzle that have intrigued me and others for years. Perhaps a pattern or picture will emerge…eventually.
Caravaggio is one of my favourite artists. It was only after many years of reading about Mary Magdalene, the Cathars, Rennes le Chateau, the Templars and the Grail that the penny finally dropped for me when I looked at this painting.
To me Caravaggio has clearly painted Mary Magdalene as though she were holding, and lovingly looking at, a baby in her arms, only the baby is missing.
Was the artist continuing the tradition of hiding the truth, the ‘heresy’ of the Cathars and Templars in plain sight?
I’m reading Laurence Gardner’s ‘The Magdalene Legacy’ and he too points out the missing child in Caravaggio’s painting, describing her as being in a ‘nursing pose’, so I don’t feel so daft! ( Gina) He also points to the shell-designed chalice on the front of her skirt stating:
The engralled scalloping on this device is the most forthright of Grail-related generational allegory…Scallop engrailing was at all times connected with love goddesses and fertility cult females associated with the sea – from Mary Magdalene to Aphrodite, Botticelli’s painting The Birth of Venus is a supreme icon of this tradition.
Showing that the tradition of artists depicting Mary Magdalene as a mother has continued, Gardner point’s to a Dali painting that appeared in a strange book entitled ‘L’Apocalypse de Saint Jean.’ The book produced in 1961, was apparently a one-off; comprised of hand-made parchment leaves; had a bronze, sculpted cover encrusted with precious stones; weighed 210 kgs; had original commissioned artwork by the world’s most prominent artists; was the most expensive book in the world; and after being exhibited around the world it was hidden away in a Swiss bank vault.
The painting ‘The Life of Mary Magdalene’ to me clearly shows a woman whose abdomen shows signs of having given birth. Dali has The Magdalene’s abdomen being assaulted by or pierced by a nail. The nail reminds me of the crucifixion. Is Dali portraying a symbolic assault against her by the Church and history for being the carrier of the Grail.?…..
The beautiful stained glass window below is a prominent and controversial feature of Kilmore Church on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. Installed in 1906 it seems to show Jesus with a halo, holding the hand of a pregnant woman. The bible verse below the pair relates to Mary of Bethany, who it is believed is also Mary Magdalene. Interestingly, the church itself has a round tower, yet another symbol of Mary Magdalene.