Mary Undoer of Knots


A friend introduced me to Mary Undoer of Knots.  You may have seen the baroque painting by Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner (pictured below) showing the Blessed Virgin Mary surrounded by angels untying a long ribbon with her foot on a knotted snake, representing the devil. The painting was commissioned around 1700 by Hieronymus Ambrosius Langenmantel in thanks for keeping his grandparents together. A Jesuit priest prayed to “…raise the bonds of matrimony, to untie all knots and smoothen them.” Peace was restored between the couple and they never separated.


The knots in both my painting and in Schmidtner’s represent the problems and stuggles we face in life; the ones which cause despair and you cannot see any possible solution or positive outcome. For Langenmantel’s grandfather, the knot was the imminent separation from his wife. For me, it was for neighbourly peace.  In my painting, the Virgin Mary appears surrounded by roses in a beautiful verdant garden, reminiscent of the Garden of Eden. Her foot is on the serpent which forms the end of a knotted blue silk ribbon which she is untying with her hands. The serpent/devil is illustrated as the root cause of the knots. If you look closely, instead of a halo or crown, you will be able to see a veil of dew drops on Mary’s hair glittering in the twilight.

I hope you like the painting and if you would like to find out more about the novena prayer attributed to Mary Untier of Knots then this article provides more information.

Video showing the evolution of the painting.


About hArt

Anglo Costa Rican artist who likes to tell stories.
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2 Responses to Mary Undoer of Knots

  1. Bakes says:

    I just absolutely love this. It’s absolutely incredible. I love Our Lady Who Unites Knots, so- WOW- just so so so so beautiful! You did such a wonderful job! ❤

  2. anita says:

    It’s beautiful Harriet and the attention to detail amazing!
    Anita x

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