mantled figures

The Mantle, either as a cape or in the fuller form with an integral head covering, appears often in Christian iconography, and can also be found as a feature especially of womens' dress. These four variants raise a number of other iconographic issues.

The first is a pretty straightforward version of the appearance of a conventional Madonna, a face surrounded by a wimple

Drift Inn ponds

The second is a bit more complicated, easily read as a wimpled head, but also suggesting the torso of a yakshini, in a "graceful, flexed pose known in Sanskrit as tribhanga, literally 'thrice-bent'."

ice torso

The third, uncovered, suggests movement and seems to reference Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase (a different Madonna, perhaps) and his earlier experiments with depiction of movement.

in motion

And with the fourth (Our Lady of the Porcupine Quills) we are in new iconographic territory, with mantle in place but caught just after an unfortunate encounter: