Friday 1 January 2016

The Beauty and 'Magic' of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Happy New Year! Our first post of 2016 is inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose feast is celebrated on January 1st.

The images below are from a set of magic lantern slides that were donated by the estate of Monsignor Joseph O'Neill. The slides are hand coloured reproductions of artwork depicting the Blessed Virgin and were probably produced between 1915 and 1930.

Magic lanterns were originally created in the 17th century using hand painted slides, well before the invention of photography. They were used to entertain or educate audiences, who were wowed by the 'magic' pictures. The slides portrayed a wide variety of subject matter, including travel destinations, biblical scenes or art. Many even contained a narrative. Sets of slides were often sold with an accompanying text to be read along with each frame. They could even be set to music. Although the technology changed over time, magic lanterns were in use until the early 20th century. The images below were selected from a group of slides that was likely sold as an educational set.

Click here or here for more information about the magic lantern.

Photographs Special Collection
PH95/8S, 18S, 26S, 29S

Photographs Special Collection
PH95/13S, 14S, 23S, 25S

Photographs Special Collection
PH95/17S, 19S, 20S, 2S

Photographs Special Collection

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