Unveiling the Sculpture of Mary, Mother of Fairest Love

We are pleased to announce that the design of the sculpture of Mary, Mother of Fairest Love is complete, and we are now moving on to the sculpting phase! 

Isn’t she lovely? 

As you may know, we’ve been working with sculptor Cody Swanson on the Shrine’s definitive image of Mary, Mother of Fairest Love. Cody is an accomplished artist who works primarily on religious pieces. A Minneapolis native, Cody now lives in Florence, Italy with his wife and their five children. He recently completed projects with architect Duncan Stroik for the Cathedrals of Sioux Falls and Minneapolis, along with the Basilica of the National Shrine to Mary in Holy Hill, Wisconsin.

For our project, Cody spent considerable time perfecting Our Lady’s embrace of the Christ Child. Cody even dressed his infant son in a homemade tunic and placed him in his wife’s arms to adequately model this embrace.

The photos shown are of the one-third scale clay model that will be used to produce the final sculpture, which will measure about seven feet and will be carved out of white Carrara marble, sourced from the same quarries from which Michelangelo and other great Italian sculptors acquired the marble used in the masterpieces we love today! 

There are many noteworthy features of the sculpture—from the thorny rose held by Our Lady signifying her Son’s passion, to her gaze that invites the viewer into her loving relationship with her Son. In the months ahead, as Cody begins working on the marble, we’ll share more about each of these artistic features and how they tell us who Mary, Mother of Fairest Love is.