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Canticle of Mary (Magnificat)

Painting The Canticle of Mary aka Magnificat


The Virgin Mary is pictured in the hill country where she visited her cousin Elizabeth. The painting shows how she may have appeared that day. Looking up, both her hands raised, bathed in bright light, and holding nothing back, she delivers her famous canticle (The Magnificat) which is written in white lettering to the viewer's right:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever. 

(Luke 1:46-55)


Because she refers to herself as a servant, the white part of her clothing is based on the white garments worn by alter servers at my local parish. It is meant to show that all those who serve the Lord in any way are following in the footsteps of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On each side of the painting is a grouping of white roses, seven on the viewers left and five on the right. This was done mainly to unify the painting. They also honor the Virgin Mary and make a more attractive painting.

The background is based on the area near The Church of the Visitation in a place called Ein Kerem. It is in this area where The Visitation is believed to have taken place. Here you see a large number of pointy evergreens and small shrubs with yellow flowers amid terraced farming land. The actual area looks somewhat more sandy, but I used more green on the painting so that the white lettering would show up better. The sky is painted blue with some wispy cirrus clouds. This fits in with the cheerful,  joyful nature of this painting.

The idea for the painting came to me one day while sitting in church listening to the choir as they sang the hymn "Holy is His Name". From that point I felt a need to transfer the feeling of that song onto canvas. I believe it was the Holy Spirit who called upon me to paint it, and guided me through the whole process. It is He who should get most if not all the credit for this painting.

The painting now belongs to Saint Patrick Parish in Pelham, NH, and is currently on display there.

Medium: Acrylic paint on stretched canvas with several coats of clear acrylic satin finish.

Size: 36"wide x 24" High 

Date Completed: October 2017

Artist: David S. Straughan

To order an item or any other inquiry email me at: davepelhamnh@gmail.com