Handmaid of the Lord

Handmaid of the Lord

In 1916 Sargent installed the remaining murals at the south end of the room. In Handmaid of the Lord, the image that occupies the wall niche at the southeast, the artist depicted the Virgin Mary as Mother of God, protectively embracing the sleeping infant Christ. The baby’s hand is raised in a blessing gesture as angels crown Mary queen of heaven. The inscriptions on the banner around and above Mary show, in Latin, some of her many symbolic names, such as “vessel of the spirit” and “closed garden.”

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Handmaid of the Lord, south end, east wall niche, installed 1916. Oil on canvas with papier-mâché reliefs (1999 photo)
The Triumph of Religion