Science & Culture

Images of Black Madonnas

The Franciscans as well as many others produced black virgins.  The French of the Middle Ages venerated numerous vierges noires and today there are about 150 black virgin statues within their sovereignty. There are black madonnas all over Europe including Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and other countries. In Africa: in Algeria, Senegal, and South Africa. In the Americas including the Caribbean: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Trinidad, and the USA. In Asia: in Japan and the Philippines. There are also numerous contemporary black madonnas. 

The topic of black madonnas and dark madonnas reflects the reality of these different virgins. Black madonnas abound in Europe and usually are intensely black but also typically have European as opposed to African facial characteristics.  For example, the two Spanish black madonnas have the facial characteristics of Spaniards. On the other hand, we normally call the Virgin of Guadalupe and the Virgin of Ocotlán of Nueva España dark madonnas, not because they are black but because they have the features and skin color of native Amerindians of Nueva España.

See images of dark madonnas.

The images presented here are a sample of those available worldwide. We welcome submissions of additional images sent to