Liturgical & Symbolic Symbols in Contra Reformation Paintings

White: Color of joy. Often depicted on Mary  and Saints, who were not martyrs.

Red: Color of fire and charitas (unselfish love), which leads man to bear witness to Christ, by shedding his own blood. Often used in paintings for holy martyrs.

Blue: Color of Heaven. Peace. Heavenly. Without sin. Often used for the Madonna (Mary) draperies.

Monstrance: Gold smith art. First used in 14th C. to display the Eucharist wafer ('host") to the faithful. The tower shape was popular in the 14th - 16th Century. The sunburst shape from the 15th to the 20th Century.


Copied from signs in the Pitti Palace, April 2000