In this lecture Natasha Amendola will demonstrate the ongoing influence of at least one 2nd century text on the representation of the Virgin Mary as a spinner. Although not common in the West, Mary is frequently shown with a drop spindle when visited by the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation in Eastern Orthodox images.
Despite being decreed as Apocryphal and therefore supplementary to religious needs in the 6th century, second-century texts maintained an important and ongoing influence on the reception of the Virgin Mary.
DR NATASHA AMENDOLA is currently employed in the Caulfield branch of the Monash University Library. She completed her PhD in 2015 looking at the role of Penelope, the wife of Ulysses, in the debates on gender in the Latin (classical, medieval and early Renaissance) tradition.
She has a particular fascination for the symbolic uses of textiles and textile implements which has contributed to the development of the current paper.
Twelfth-century image of the Annunciation, St Catherine’s Monastery, Mt Sinai. Image provided