Introduction The depiction of the Virgin Mary by various artists has changed throughout ancient to modern times. Today, she is portrayed through a multitude of interpretations including artwork, film, song, and text. Generally, modern artists have strived to portray Mary in a way similar to the way she was spoken about in the gospels Luke, Mark and John, Mary is interpreted as a symbol of purity and innocence. She acts as a historical and religious icon of morality that society, especially women, should strive to resemble. Through various means of artwork and the media, Mother Mary has been represented as the ideal woman and mother, acting as a role model for women today. However, Mary is not as appreciated as in earlier times because of a decline in the Christian faith.
In modern times, Mary is constantly being depicted not only through modern texts, but also in modern art. One of the many modern depictions of Mary is of how the role of Mary to her son Jesus was to be more nurturing instead of “empress of heaven” which is shown in E.W’s article “Holy Mary, drenched in symbolism.” This means that instead of viewing Mary as a spiritual figure, she would be viewed more in the light of a more human figure. As mentioned in E.W’s article, the author states that “the humanist conception of Mary gained further traction... she is less empress of heaven, more mother-sewing, nursing and paying with the infant Jesus,” This shows as proof to how Mary is depicted in modern time because like today, the modern mother is supposed to be the caregiver of the children and tend to all of their needs as they grow and develop. Not only this, but in such a modern interpretation of Mary it shows how a figure that has held so much power in purity and devotion still holds this power today that many women follow. For example, Mary's’ faithfulness, devotion and purity is something that many modern women strive for; especially if they are firm followers of the Catholic church. In addition to how Mary is depicted, there is a painting of Mary’s life that is layered with scenes of texts in the Bible. Also, E.W mentions that the painting of the Annunciation shows how obedient Mary was, not only just through painting Mary herself but also through implementing Eve and her disobedience in Eden. Although the painting uses some of what happened with Eve, it still poses as a modern depiction of Mary because in society today not all women continue to follow order and even venture off into doing what pleases them. Given other modern day interpretations, the pain of Compassion is able to depict Mary in a well known, modern way because similar to today many women bear children and suffer from the pain, however, given that she was a virgin she was looked upon in a different light. This is a good representation of Mary as a modern figure because in the article it mentioned Eve and how she was condemned to bear children while suffering in pain. Amy Neff writes, “As the new Eve that who redeems us from the sins of the first woman. Mary is exempt from the curse that condemned Eve to bear children in great pan.” This information shows that Mary is interpreted in modern day to be pure and more acceptable than Eve who messed up and sinned against God.
 E.W, “Holy Mary, Drenched in Symbolism,” The Economist, last modified December 11, 2014, http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2014/12/virgin-mary-art