An Alternative Suggestion Regarding the Origins of the Image ‘The Education of the Virgin’

  • Virginia Nixon


The purpose of the chapter is to suggest a solution to the problem of the missing textual source for the image known as the “Education of the Virgin”: the depiction of St. Anne and the child Mary with an open book. It intimates that while such a representation often uses a visual format that suggests that the girl receives tuition in reading, this is in fact intended to illustrate Mary’s instruction concerning her future role as the mother of the Redeemer.

The piece follows the interaction of the educational and prophetic themes in texts referring to Anne and closes by calling attention to a previously unnoticed medieval work that might have had a bearing on the way people interpreted the scene “Education of the Virgin.”


Anne Joachim Mary Christ Education Virgin 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virginia Nixon
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Liberal ArtsConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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