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Blue Shrines

Dorsoduro 35

True confession time here….I’m a bit addicted to Google. I think of something I want to know and start looking and next thing I know, hours of my life have passed by and I’ve got all kinds of new and interesting trivia in my head. I haven’t decided if I should be worried about this or not.

Here’s an example. I was looking through my shrine photos and noticed how many of the Madonna shrines are light blue/sky blue/baby blue (we call it Carolina blue here in NC but that’s another story). Either her clothes are that shade of blue or the shrine itself or both. So I went to Google to try to find out why, and here are a few interesting things I found along the way.

Bathtub Madonna shrines

Who knew? Evidently these are very popular in the Midwest. Paint the inside of an old bathtub sky blue, bury it halfway, put a Madonna inside, and voila, a shrine for your yard.

Pink and Blue

This NY Times article about the Princess Craze says that in the early 20th century, pink was considered to be a masculine color (because it was close to red) and baby blue was a feminine color (because of its association with the Virgin). But by the 1930’s, the gender associations had switched, and pink became feminine and blue masculine. How weird is that? How and why does a change like that happen?

Why does Mary always wear light blue?

This article says that she doesn’t.

I finally found an explanation that makes sense – centuries ago, blue pigment (made from lapis lazuli) was the most precious and costly pigment in painting, and using that color was a way to honor and show devotion to her. That gave me the "a-ha" moment I was looking for so I could stop googling this topic and move into the next one.

Dorsoduro 2391

Dorsoduro 1745

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Comments (4)

Beautiful beautiful! I think you should write a book.


Lovely photos!

BTW, in the Middle East turquoise-blue was the color associated with warding off the Evil Eye.


I agree with Chiocciola. You write it, I'll buy it!

Your blog is so fascinating. I loved all the shrines we saw in Italy. I just realized I didn't get a photo of the one near the corner of our rental apartment in Florence...rats. One evening a group of young men were walking past and one of them turned back toward the shrine, crossed himself quickly then caught up with his friends. I thought that was sweet.

Thanks so much for all the encouragement! Writing a book seems like such a daunting task in light of how difficult it's been to come up with a few paragraphs a day for this blog challenge! Maybe when I retire or win the lottery we've been talking about.:)

Anne, I love when I see someone interacting with a shrine - I've only seen it happen a couple of times but it's cool.

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