I'm naming this veil for St. Gianna Beretta Molla (October 4, 1922 – April 28, 1962)
She was an Italian wife and mother, and a pediatrician. When it was discovered that she had cancer, Gianna refused to have an abortion. All this came about while she was pregnant with her fourth child. Gianna was fully aware that continuing the pregnancy could result in her death.
She was canonized as a saint of the Catholic Church in 2004.
Gianna--and really all the saints remind us that our life is not our own. It was given to us by God and is to be lived for God first and for others, too.
Mathew 16:  Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.
This is how Our Lady, who is always the perfect example lived each moment; for God first and then also for others. This is how we take true joy.
Luke:  And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.  And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.  And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
The Annunciation, by Raphael Soyer.
Soyer was a Russian born artist who moved to the United States in 1912.
The other "Mary" stands in the foreground contemplating the news. Her demeanor, an inward stare, is like that of countless beautiful paintings and sculptures of the Madonna. Judith Dupre has mentioned in her commentary on the painting that Mary's hands are in the orans position.
Mary is in prayer.
But about the hands--I'd only add that I think there's significance to be found in their being covered. The hands are used to accomplish things; they're used for work. But I think this Mary's looking to do God's will; to do the work of God and not her own work.
The stark room with that big sink; it looks like a sink that's perhaps rinsed many paintbrushes. Do you think it looks like the old studio flat of an urban artist? I have to wonder if maybe she's the painter's wife.
Dupre concluded that she's a washer woman, but I don't think so. I'm not sure if that's ever been verified so you'll have to decide for yourself. In any event, I would suppose that the subject is a woman of modest means.
And her slip is, of course Marian blue.
A painter named Fairfield Porter once said in an interview that blue is the one color that isolates itself from it's surroundings. It's really true and I can see that happening here in this painting.
Mary is set apart from all creation.
You know what else sets this "Mary" apart and pulls her almost into another panel of the picture? It's the division of the walls. The one wall directly behind Mary sort of pushes her forward, doesn't it?
This Mary's surroundings are lit in cool tones. Being as she's in her slip do you think that makes her seem a little vulnerable? The sensation of being somewhat chilly and exposed is conveyed here. But the cool tones are also bright tones. Maybe that conveys hopefulness.
She seems a little isolated, prayerful, hopeful, vulnerable...
And her friend,
the other "Gabriel" pensively awaits Mary's Fiat. What will be Mary's response?