Black Madonna of Czestochowa
The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is a revered icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...
of the Virgin Mary
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...
housed at the Jasna Góra Monastery
Jasna Góra Monastery
The Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, Poland is the most famous shrine to the Virgin Mary in Poland and the country's greatest place of pilgrimage - for many its spiritual capital. The image of Black Madonna of Częstochowa, to which miraculous powers are attributed, is Jasna Góra's most...
Częstochowa is a city in south Poland on the Warta River with 240,027 inhabitants . It has been situated in the Silesian Voivodeship since 1999, and was previously the capital of Częstochowa Voivodeship...
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...
The origins of the icon and the date of its composition are still hotly contested among scholars. The difficulty in dating the icon stems from the fact that the original image was painted over, after being badly damaged by Hussite
The Hussites were a Christian movement following the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus , who became one of the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation...
raiders in 1430. Medieval
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...
restorers unfamiliar with the encaustic method
Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used...
found that the paints they applied to the damaged areas "simply sloughed off the image" according to the medieval chronicler Risinius, and their solution was to erase the original image and to repaint it on the original panel, which was believed to be holy because of its legendary origin as a table top from the home of the Holy Family
The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph.The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Roman Catholic Church in honor of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family...