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Madonna and Child of Good Health with Sunflowers

Madonna and Child of Good Health with Sunflowers by Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS

Artwork Narrative:

Sunflowers are a favorite symbol of mine (and van Gogh's) which reminds me of the sun's and Son's healing rays.
–Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS

Art Collection: 
McGrath collection: 
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Sunflowers symbolize adoration, loyalty and longevity. Much of the meaning of sunflowers stems from its namesake, the sun itself. These flowers are unique in that they have the ability to provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrancy—attributes which mirror the sun and the energy provided by its heat and light. 

Sunflowers are known for being “happy” flowers, making them the perfect gift to bring joy to someone’s (or your) day. 

The History of Sunflowers:

Sunflowers originated in the Americas in 1,000 B.C. and were then cultivated as a valuable food source for centuries. With the European exploration of the New World, the flower’s popularity spread, as the rest of the world began to appreciate its beauty and sustenance. 

Artists throughout history loved the sunflower’s unique splendor—those of the Impressionist era were especially fixated on the flower. The use of sunflower images as religious symbols has also been documented in some native societies. 

Wild sunflowers are often photographed with their tall stalks and bright petals stretched towards the sun. This interesting behavior, known as phototropism, inspired a motif that has appeared in many ancient works. 

Today, sunflowers remain a highly recognized flower, admired for its sunny charm and delightful disposition. These beauties are also still sourced for their seeds, as well as oils used for cooking and skin emollients. For a flower that reflects so many of the sun’s positive characteristics, it isn’t surprising that people enjoy basking in the sunflower’s warming glow so much.

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