Many portraits have been printed of Mary, by many artists, each painting her according to his own idea. There can, however, be only one true likeness of her;: namely, a copy of her character is shown forth in the Gospels, the account of which forms a portrait drawn, if we venture to say so, by the Holy Spirit Himself. And what is the character set thus before us in Scripture? It is neither Mary's high intercourse with God nor her great and special graces, nor her power. All these are kept in the background. What is brought before us is simply her ordinary every-day virtues that she may be a model for daily familiar use. Now, the essence of Mary's character as thus displayed, is her modesty and self-restraint. She never thinks of showing herself, though she was doubtless beautiful; nor of decking herself, though young; nor of exalting herself, though noble; nor of enriching herself, though poor.
Thoughtful and prudent, modest, self-restrained, humble and unselfish is this Mary of whom I repeat that we can never be her clients if we are not her followers
J.B. Bossuet (1627-1704)
Madonna & Child
Mount Saviour Collection